Journal Article

Exploring Race Differences in the Relationship between Social Interaction with the Clergy and Feelings of Self-Worth in Late Life

Neal Krause

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 64, issue 2, pages 183-205
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712370
Exploring Race Differences in the Relationship between Social Interaction with the Clergy and Feelings of Self-Worth in Late Life

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The purpose of this study is to see if emotional support from the clergy and negative interaction with clergy are associated with feelings of self-esteem in late life. A special emphasis is placed on assessing race differences in the relationships among these constructs. Data from a nationwide survey of older whites and older African Americans reveal that emotional support from the clergy tends to bolster the self-esteem of older blacks, but not older whites. The findings further indicate that negative interaction with a pastor is associated with diminished feelings of self-worth, but race differences failed to emerge in the relationship between these constructs. Instead, unpleasant interaction with the clergy was related to lower self-esteem only among older people who did not use religious coping responses to deal with these interpersonal problems.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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