Tyler VanderWeele: Religion and Health in Europe

Abstract: Much of the research on the relationships between religious participation and health comes from the United States. Studies in other geographic regions or cultural contexts is more sparse. Evidence presented by Ahrenfelt et al., and that from other research studies, is reviewed concerning the associations between religion and health within Europe and world-wide. The evidence within Europe suggests protective associations between various forms of religious participation and lower depression, lower mortality, and better self-rated health. Methodological challenges in such research are reviewed, and discussion is given as to whether a person-culture-fit explanation suffices to account for the existing data and to what other mechanisms might be operative.


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