Social support as a mediator of religious involvement and physical and emotional functioning in a national sample of African-Americans

Academic Article


  • Researchers propose social support as one of the factors that may explain the positive relationship often observed between religious involvement and health outcomes. African-Americans are a population that tends to have higher than average levels of religious involvement and are also disproportionately impacted by most health conditions. The present study sought to determine whether social support mediates the role of religious involvement in physical and emotional functioning and depressive symptoms, among a national probability sample of African-Americans (N = 803). Study participants completed telephone interviews. We used structural equation modelling to test hypotheses based on the theoretical model. Findings suggest evidence for a mediating role of belonging and tangible support in the association between religious behaviours and physical functioning as well as depression. There was no mediational role played by appraisal support, or for emotional functioning. Implications for faith-based health promotion interventions are discussed. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Holt CL; Schulz E; Williams BR; Clark EM; Wang MQ
  • Start Page

  • 421
  • End Page

  • 435
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 4