Krause, Neal, and R. David Hayward. 2013. "Church-Based Social Support and a Sense of Belonging in a Congregation Among Older Mexican-Americans." Review of Religious Research, 55(2): 251-273.
Research suggests that people with a strong sense of belonging in a congregation tend to rate their health in a more favorable way. However, relatively little is known about how a sense of belonging arises in a congregation. The purpose of the current study is to see if five different dimensions of church-based social support are associated with a sense of belonging in a congregation. In the process, an effort is made to contribute to the literature in two potentially important ways. First, the relationship between church-based support and belonging is evaluated with data from a nationwide survey of older Mexican-Americans. Second, tests are conducted to see if there are gender differences in the relationship between church-based support and belonging. The findings suggest that for the sample as a whole, receiving more of each type of church-based social support is associated with a stronger sense of belonging. Moreover, the results reveal that the relationship between all five types of church-based support and belonging is stronger for older Mexican-American men than for older Mexican-American women.
PMCID: PMC3115546. (Pub Med Central)