The Ebb and Flow of Religiousness Across the Life Course

Michele Dillon and Paul Wink

in In the Course of a Lifetime

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249004
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940031 | DOI:
The Ebb and Flow of Religiousness Across the Life Course

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the flow of religiousness across the life of a person. In a person's life, the three phases of adulthood (early, middle, and late adulthood) are examined to study how religiousness changes during the transition from middle to late adulthood, and this requires special attention. Americans turn to religion increasingly as they age in order to deal with the challenges associated with old age: health problems, spousal bereavement, death anxiety, and the lack of purposefulness that may characterize the postretirement period. The findings of the study presented in this chapter indicate that religiousness increases from late middle to late adulthood. The study participants increased in religiousness from their fifties to their seventies and did so irrespective of whether they were men or women, or whether they came from a mainline Protestant, nonmainline Protestant, or Catholic family background. However, the gradient of increase in religiousness among the aging participants was not very steep.

Keywords: religiousness; late adulthood; early adulthood; middle adulthood; age

Chapter.  7924 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.