Auspicious or suspicious — Does religiosity really promote elder well-being? Examining the belief-as-benefit effect among older Japanese

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Abstract

Recent findings suggest that the belief-as-benefit effect (BABE) — the positive association between religiosity and health/well-being — is a spurious correlation voided by personality traits. The current paper investigates the cross-sectional relationships among personality, religiosity and psychological well-being in an older adult sample randomly-selected from Tokyo, Japan. Correlation and Hierarchical Regression Modelling (HRM)—with a two one-sided test (TOST) of equivalence—is utilized. The standard BABE correlation is reproduced. However, HRM utilizing a meaningful benchmark of effect (β ≥.15) largely neuters the result after controlling for trait agreeableness and conscientiousness. Religiosity does remain statistically related to the purpose in life and positive relationships sub-scales; though it explains just a sliver of variance in both instances. Compared to religiosity, agreeableness, conscientiousness and education level were more substantial and consistent well-being predictors. Whether religiosity auspices the psychological health of older Japanese adults thus remains to be established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume81
Early online date07 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2019

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