Churchgoers Show More Optimism

Past studies have shown that those who attend religious services at least weekly tend to live longer and healthier lives. Now, new research indicates that frequent churchgoers also face those additional years with more optimism and greater social support than other people. A study involving more than 92,000 postmenopausal women showed that those who reported weekly attendance at religious services were 56 percent more likely to be above the median in terms of their optimism level. They also were significantly less likely to be depressed or characterized by cynical hostility. The study was published in the Journal of Religion and Health on Nov. 11; the research was conducted by a team led by Eliezer Schnall, a clinical associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University in New York. Schnall said his research team postulated that “maybe there could be some social strains having to do with religious identification or networks or associations,” but the research did not support this hypothesis.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018
Transgender patients “need to know they are welcome and they will not be looked down upon” if they come to Catholic institutions seeking treatment, says Sister Carol Keehan.
Kevin ClarkeJanuary 19, 2018
Francis is the first pope to come to the Amazon region, and he insisted that his first event and major speech of his visit to Peru should be to this place.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2018