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Int J Prev Med. 2013 Feb;4(2):208-17.

Race and Ethnicity, Religion Involvement, Church-based Social Support and Subjective Health in United States: A Case of Moderated Mediation.

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1
Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA ; Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To test if social support and ethnicity mediate/moderate the association between religion involvement and subjective health in the United States.

METHODS:

This is a secondary analysis of National Survey of American Life, 2003. Hierarchical regression was fit to a national household probability sample of adult African Americans (n = 3570), Caribbean Blacks (n = 1621), and Whites (n = 891). Frequency of church attendance, positive/negative church-based social support, ethnicity, and subjective health (overall life satisfaction and self-rated mental health) were considered as predictor, mediator, moderator and outcome, respectively.

RESULTS:

Frequency of church attendance had a significant and positive association with mental health and life satisfaction among all ethnic groups. Frequency of church attendance was also correlated with positive and negative social support among all ethnic groups. Church-based social support fully mediated the association between frequency of church attendance and overall life satisfaction among African Americans but not among Caribbean Blacks, or Whites. Church-based social support, however, partially mediated the association between frequency of church attendance and overall mental health among African Americans but not among Caribbean Blacks or Whites.

CONCLUSION:

Ethnicity shapes how church-based social support mediates the association between religious involvement and subjective health. Our results showed a moderating mediation effect of ethnicity and social support on the religious involvement-subjective health linkage, in a way that it is only among African Americans that social support is a pathway for the beneficial health effect of religious involvement.

KEYWORDS:

Ethnicity; life satisfaction; mental health; religion involvement; social support; subjective health

PMID:
23543791
PMCID:
PMC3604855
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