Dimensions of religious involvement represent positive pathways in cognitive aging.

TitleDimensions of religious involvement represent positive pathways in cognitive aging.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsA Kraal, Z, Sharifian, N, Zaheed, AB, Sol, K, Zahodne, LB
JournalResearch on Aging
ISSN Number1552-7573

Older Black and Hispanic adults report more religious involvement, and religious involvement has been linked to better cognition. This study examined which aspects of religious involvement are associated with better longitudinal episodic memory and whether religious involvement offsets racial and ethnic inequalities in episodic memory. Using Health and Retirement Study data ( = 16,069), latent growth curves estimated independent indirect pathways between race and ethnicity and 6-year memory trajectories through religious attendance, private prayer, and religious belief, controlling for nonreligious social participation, depressive symptoms, chronic health diseases, age, education, and wealth. Negative direct effects of Black race and Hispanic ethnicity on memory were partially offset by positive indirect pathways through more private prayer and religious attendance. While results were significant for memory intercept and not subsequent memory change, religious attendance and private prayer were independently associated with better cognitive health among diverse older adults. Findings may inform culturally relevant intervention development to promote successful aging and reduce older adults' cognitive morbidity.

User Guide Notes


Alternate JournalRes Aging
Citation Key10127
PubMed ID31303123
Grant ListR00 AG047963 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG054520 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States