Church-Based Social Relationships and Change in Self-Esteem Over Time

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Abstract:

This study has two goals. The first goal is to see if church-based social relationships are associated with change in self-esteem. Emotional support from fellow church members and having a close personal relationship with God serve as measures of church-based social ties. The second goal is to see whether emotional support from fellow church members is more strongly associated with self-esteem than emotional support from secular social network members. The data come from an ongoing nationwide survey of older adults. The findings reveal that having a close personal relationship with God is associated with a stronger sense of self-esteem at the baseline and follow-up interviews. In contrast, emotional support from fellow church members was not associated with self-esteem at either point in time. However, emotional support from secular social network members is related to self-esteem at the baseline but not the follow-up interview.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01477.x

Affiliations: Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationUniversity of Michigan

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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