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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

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Religious Involvement, Humility, and Change in Self-Rated Health Over Time

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal. 2012. "Religious Involvement, Humility, and Change in Self-Rated Health Over Time." Journal of Psychology and Theology, 40(3): 199-210.

Theologians have been discussing humility for centuries, but empirical research on humility is in its infancy. The present study has two goals. The first is to see if change in humility is associated with change in self-rated health over time. The second is to explore religious factors that are associated with humility. Spiritual support that study participants receive from fellow church members, as well as the nature of a study participant's relationship with God, figure prominently in this respect. The two study aims are accomplished by estimating a conceptual model that contains the following core relationships: (1) older people who go to church more often are more likely to receive spiritual support from fellow church members; (2) more spiritual support is associated with having a closer relationship with God; (3) older adults who have a closer relationship with God will feel more humble; and (4) older adults who are more humble will rate their health more favorably over time. Data from a nationwide survey of older adults provides support for each of these linkages.

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