A biopsychosocial model of religious involvement

Terrence D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Numerous studies show that religious involvement tends to favor health and longevity in the elderly population. Although this body of work has made significant contributions to our understanding of the salutary role of religious involvement in late life, additional research is needed to identify and establish theoretical and empirical explanations for these patterns. In this chapter, I develop a biopsychosocial model of religious involvement, health, and longevity. The model incorporates several classes of mechanisms, including social resources, psychological resources, healthy behaviors, and biological markers. I conclude that additional research is needed to establish individual mechanisms, more elaborate causal models, and subgroup variations. It is also important for future studies to thoroughly explore the "dark side" of religion and to formally test alternative explanations, including health selection, personality selection, genetic selection, and social desirability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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