Mortality Differentials and Religion in the U.S.: Religious Affiliation and Attendance.

TitleMortality Differentials and Religion in the U.S.: Religious Affiliation and Attendance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSullivan, AR
JournalJ Sci Study Relig
Date Published2010 Dec
ISSN Number0021-8294
Call Numbernewpubs20110328_Sullivan.pdf

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, I examine the relationship between adult mortality and religious affiliation. I test whether mortality differences associated with religious affiliation can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status (years of education and household wealth), attendance at religious services, or health behaviors, particularly cigarette and alcohol consumption. A baseline report of attendance at religious services is used to avoid confounding effects of deteriorating health. Socioeconomic status explains some but not all of the mortality difference. While Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, and Black Protestants benefit from favorable attendance patterns, attendance (or lack of) at services explains much of the higher mortality of those with no religious preference. Health behaviors do not mediate the relationship between mortality and religion, except among Evangelical Protestants. Not only does religion matter, but studies examining the effect of "religiosity" need to consider differences by religious affiliation.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Mortality/Christianity/Religion/psychology/Social psychology/Health behavior/Socioeconomic factors

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Sci Study Relig
Citation Key7522
PubMed ID21318110
PubMed Central IDPMC3035005
Grant ListT32 AG000177 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States