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Religious doubt and health: Exploring the potential dark side of religion

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal, and K.M. Wulff. 2004. "Religious doubt and health: Exploring the potential dark side of religion." Sociology of Religion, 65(1): 35-56.

The purpose of this study is to test two hypotheses about the relationship between religious doubt and health. The first hypothesis specifies that people who have more doubts about their faith will be less satisfied with their health, and experience more symptoms of depression than individuals who have fewer doubts about their religious beliefs. The second hypothesis states that the potentially deleterious effects of religious doubt will be greater for people who occupy formal roles in the church. Findings from a nationwide survey provide support for both hypotheses. The results underscore the importance of looking at the potential costs, as well as the benefits, of religious involvement.

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