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H. Luke Shaefer

Neal Krause photo

Aging in the Church: How Social Relationships Affect Health

Publication Abstract
Aging in the Church:  How Social Relationships Affect Health cover image

Krause, Neal. 2008. Aging in the Church: How Social Relationships Affect Health. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

A growing number of studies indicate that social ties formed by older people in the church have a significant positive impact on their physical and mental health. This book constitutes the first attempt to provide a comprehensive assessment of the various types of relationships that stem from church involvement, including close companion friendships, social-support structures (such as assistance provided by fellow church members during difficult times), and interactions that arise from Bible study and prayer groups. Krause examines the links between these relationships and attributes like forgiveness, hope, gratitude, and altruism, looking for reasons that older adults who are involved in religious activities tend to enjoy better health than those who are not. Krause identifies conceptual and methodological issues that investigators will have to confront as they delve more deeply into these connections.

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