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24-10-2019 | Uitgave 2/2020

Quality of Life Research 2/2020

Private religion/spirituality, self-rated health, and mental health among US South Asians

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2020
Auteurs:
Blake Victor Kent, Samuel Stroope, Alka M. Kanaya, Ying Zhang, Namratha R. Kandula, Alexandra E. Shields
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Abstract

Purpose

Connections between private religion/spirituality and health have not been assessed among US South Asians. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between private religion/spirituality and self-rated and mental health in a community-based sample of US South Asians.

Methods

Data from the Mediators of atherosclerosis in South Asians living in America (MASALA) study (collected 2010–2013 and 2015–2018) and the attendant study on stress, spirituality, and health (n = 881) were analyzed using OLS regression. Self-rated health measured overall self-assessed health. Emotional functioning was measured using the mental health inventory-3 index (MHI-3) and Spielberger scales assessed trait anxiety and trait anger. Private religion/spirituality variables included prayer, yoga, belief in God, gratitude, theistic and non-theistic spiritual experiences, closeness to God, positive and negative religious coping, divine hope, and religious/spiritual struggles.

Results

Yoga, gratitude, non-theistic spiritual experiences, closeness to God, and positive coping were positively associated with self-rated health. Gratitude, non-theistic and theistic spiritual experiences, closeness to God, and positive coping were associated with better emotional functioning; negative coping was associated with poor emotional functioning. Gratitude and non-theistic spiritual experiences were associated with less anxiety; negative coping and religious/spiritual struggles were associated with greater anxiety. Non-theistic spiritual experiences and gratitude were associated with less anger; negative coping and religious/spiritual struggles were associated with greater anger.

Conclusion

Private religion/spirituality is associated with self-rated and mental health. Opportunities may exist for public health and religious care professionals to leverage existing religion/spirituality for well-being among US South Asians.

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