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Praying for Others, Financial Strain, and Physical Health Status in Late Life

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to see if praying for other people buffers the effects of financial strain on the physical health status of the person who offers the prayer. In the process, race differences in the frequency of praying for others are evaluated. Three main findings emerge from the nationwide survey of older people that was conducted for this study. First, the data suggest that the deleterious effects of chronic financial problems on physical health are reduced significantly for older people who pray for others often. In contrast, the findings further reveal that praying for material things fails to offset the pernicious effects of economic difficulty on health. Finally, the results indicate that older African Americans are more likely to pray for others than older whites.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-5906.00189

Affiliations: University of Michigan, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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