Chapter

The Activities, Personality, and Social Attitudes of Religious and Spiritual Individuals in Late Adulthood

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249004.003.0008
The Activities, Personality, and Social Attitudes of Religious and Spiritual Individuals in Late Adulthood

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This chapter discusses the activities, personality, and social attitudes of Americans related to religious and spiritual aspects of their late adulthood. According to a traditional assumption, late adulthood is a time in the life course when individuals experience a decline in personal meaning and purpose as a result of their diminished social roles and physical and cognitive impairment. The study presented in this chapter suggests that the individuals who were studied actively engaged in religion, irrespective of whether it was church centered or seeker oriented, tended to participate in more daily activities, and more frequently, than those for whom religion or spirituality were of little or no relevance. It indicates that many non-religious and non-spiritual older individuals were living purposeful lives. Nonetheless, being religiously or spiritually engaged, as opposed to having no religious or spiritual interests, was more conducive to involvement in everyday activities.

Keywords: personality; social attitude; late adulthood; spiritual individual; non-religious individual

Chapter.  7364 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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