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Linda Waite, Health & Well-Being of Adults over 60

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Prayer to the Saints or the Virgin and Health Among Older Mexican Americans

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal, and E. Bastida. 2011. "Prayer to the Saints or the Virgin and Health Among Older Mexican Americans." Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 33(1): 71-87.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a conceptual model that assesses whether praying to the saints or the Virgin is associated with the health of older Mexican Americans. A survey was conducted of 1,005 older Mexican Americans (Mean age = 73.9 years; SD = 6.6 years). Data from 795 of the Catholic respondents are presented in this study. The findings support the following relationships that are embedded in the conceptual model: (1) older Mexican Americans who attend church more often are more likely to believe in the efficacy of prayer to the saints or the Virgin; (2) stronger beliefs in the efficacy of intercessory prayer are associated with more frequent prayer to the saints or the Virgin; (3) frequent prayer is to the saints or the Virgin and is associated with greater God-mediated control beliefs; (4) stronger God-mediated control beliefs are associated with greater optimism; and (5) greater optimism is associated with better self-rated health.

DOI:10.1177/0739986310393628 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3057209. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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