Chapter

The Buffering Role of Religion 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/9780520249004.003.0010
The Buffering Role of Religion in Late Adulthood

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The view that late adulthood is a time of crisis promoted the idea that religion plays a central role in the process of successful aging. If indeed late adulthood is a time of increased social isolation and existential threat, then it may well be that religious engagement would provide an important source of personal meaning and social support for older individuals. This chapter discusses the different roles religion plays in the late adulthood of an American. Analyzing the role religion plays in the concept of the health of a person, it indicates that religion does foster good habits conducive to good health. It indicates a negative relation between religiousness and alcohol use. In late adulthood, highly religious men and women reported drinking less alcohol than the non-religious study participants. And among those who were religious, it was the older participants, and Protestants rather than Catholics, who were least likely to drink alcohol.

Keywords: health; late adulthood; religious engagement; social isolation; alcohol

Chapter.  10271 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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