Very Religious Americans Report Less Depression, Worry
PRINCETON, NJ — Very religious Americans in the United States are less likely to report having been diagnosed with depression over the course of their lifetime than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious. This relationship between depression and religion, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews, is statistically significant after controlling for major demographic and regional variables.
Thefirst articleexplored the relationship between religiosity and wellbeing across the Well-Being Index and sub-indexes. Thesecond articleexamined religiosity and emotional health. This piece explores specific components within the Healthy Behavior Index.
PRINCETON, NJ — Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious. The most religious Americans score a 66.3 on the Gallup-Healthways Healthy Behavior Index compared with 60.6 among those who are moderately religious and 58.3 for the nonreligious. This relationship, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 interviews, is statistically significant after controlling for major demographic and regional variables.
Gallup: Very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being
Christopher Hitchens’ atheist manifesto was subtitled “how religion poisons everything,” but a new polling analysis challenges that notion, finding that very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being than the rest of the country.
The most religious Americans show the highest levels of well-being as measured by factors ranging from physical and emotional health to self-evaluations of life to perceptions of work environment, according to a Gallup report released Thursday.
Americans for whom religion is an important part of everyday life and who attend religious services roughly once a week or more score an average 68.7 on a well-being index developed by Gallup and Healthways, a health consulting company.
Americans who are moderately religious or who are nonreligious, meanwhile, average 64.2 on the Gallup-Healthways well-being index.
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport says that the gap is significant because there are typically few differences in the well-being index between Americans from different demographics.
“It’s not like some people score zero and others score 100,” Newport told CNN. “So when we find a difference of four of five points it’s not only statistically significant, it’s also substantively significant.”
Newport said that the biggest difference between very religious and nonreligious Americans is in healthy behavior, which is mostly explained by a negative correlation between smoking and religiosityvia Gallup: Very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.