Krause, Neal, and R. David Hayward. 2014. "Religious involvement, helping others, and psychological well-being." Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 17(6): 629-640.
This study has two goals. The first goal is to see if involvement in religion is associated with providing tangible support to family members and strangers. The second goal is to see if providing tangible support to family members and strangers is associated with well-being. A conceptual model, which was developed to address these issues, contains the following core relationships: (1) individuals who go to church more often will receive more spiritual support from coreligionists; (2) those who receive more spiritual support will provide more tangible assistance to family members and strangers; and (3) people who help family members and strangers will report greater life satisfaction and higher self-esteem. Findings from a nationwide survey support all but one of these relationships. More specifically, the results suggest that providing tangible support to family members is associated with greater well-being, but providing tangible support to strangers is not associated with well-being.