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Does Religious Commitment Contribute to Individual Life Satisfaction?

Christopher G. Ellison, David A. Gay and Thomas A. Glass
Social Forces
Vol. 68, No. 1 (Sep., 1989), pp. 100-123
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579222
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579222
Page Count: 24
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Does Religious Commitment Contribute to Individual Life Satisfaction?
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Abstract

This article examines the relationships between multiple dimensions of religiosity, secular forms of social involvement, demographic covariates, and subjective reports of life satisfaction. Nested regression models are used to analyze data from the 1983 NORC General Social Survey. Results indicate that both devotional (private) and participatory (public) aspects of religiosity have relatively small but persistent positive relationships with life satisfaction. Further, affiliation with certain denominations appears positively associated with satisfaction. These associations are both statistically and theoretically significant. They remain despite efforts to control for the effects of both qualitative and quantitative measures of nonreligious social ties. This research indicates that the links between religiosity and psychological well-being in previous studies do not reflect merely the effects of high levels of social participation. Future theoretical and empirical work should consider the relationships between various dimensions of religious involvement and other facets of mental health.

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