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J Health Soc Behav. 1989 Mar;30(1):92-104.

Divine relations, social relations, and well-being.


The social support literature focuses on the effects of networks composed of "real" or concrete individuals on psychological well-being. Persons interact in imagination, however, with a wide range of others who may or may not actually exist. In modern societies as in traditional societies, persons experience, interact with, and appeal to spiritual or divine beings. Using data from the NORC General Social Survey, this study examines the extent to which relationships with "divine others" affect psychological well-being. Regression analysis reveals that divine relationships have a significant effect on several measures of well-being (controlling for sociodemographic background variables and church attendance). Hypotheses regarding the impact of stress, social relationships, cognitive resources, and images of the divine on the effect of divine relationships are also considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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