Weaver, A.J., L.T. Flannelly, A.L. Strock, Neal Krause, and K.J. Flannelly. 2005. "The quantity and quality of research on religion and spirituality in four major gerontology journals between 1985 and 2002." Research on Aging, 27(2): 119-135.
The study examines the quantity and quality of research on religion published in four gerontological journals between 1985 and 2002. The percentage of studies that addressed religion increased significantly. over time, especially in The Gerontologist and Research on Aging. The research quality of studies on religion also increased significantly over time. However, the measurement of religion and spirituality did not improve across time. The quality of religious measures used and other criteria of methodological and theoretical sophistication differed significantly between studies in which religion was the major research focus and those in which it was only a minor focus. The most important methodological improvement was the increased use of repeated measures designs, whereas the most important theoretical improvement was the increased use of hypothesis testing. Procedures and criteria for assessing the methodological and theoretical sophistication of a field are discussed.