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Gerontologist. 1997 Feb;37(1):75-88.

Age differences in patterns and correlates of the frequency of prayer.

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  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk 23501, USA.


This study examines differences by age cohort in (a) the frequency of prayer, (b) racial and gender variation in prayer, and (c) religious and sociodemographic correlates of prayer. Analyses are conducted across four age cohorts (18-30, 31-40, 41-60, > or = 61) using data from the 1988 National Opinion Research Center (NORC) General Social Survey (N = 1,481). Findings reveal that prayer is frequently practiced at all ages, but more frequently in successively older cohorts. In addition, females and, to a lesser extent, African Americans pray more frequently than males and Whites, respectively. Further, hierarchical multiple regression analyses reveal statistically significant associations across age cohorts between prayer and key measures of religious behavior, feeling, belief, and experience.

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