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Church-Based Emotional Support, Negative Interaction, and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from a National Sample of Presbyterians

Neal Krause, Christopher G. Ellison and Keith M. Wulff
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 37, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 725-741
DOI: 10.2307/1388153
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1388153
Page Count: 17
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Church-Based Emotional Support, Negative Interaction, and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from a National Sample of Presbyterians
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is examine the relationships between church-based emotional support, negative interaction, and psychological well-being among clergy, elders, and rank-and-file members of the Presbyterian Church USA. Based on identity theory, it is proposed that clergy will receive more emotional support and encounter more negative interaction than others in the church. It is further hypothesized that the impact of emotional support and negative interaction on well-being will be greatest among members of the clergy. Data from a nationwide survey of Presbyterians reveal that elders as well as clergy encounter more emotional support and negative interaction than rank-and-file members. The findings further indicate that the effects of emotional support and negative interaction on well-being are greater for clergy and elders than for rank-and-file members. The implications of these findings are discussed, along with several promising directions for future research.

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