All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jeffrey Clair

Advisory Committee Members

Patricia Drentea

Mark Lagory

Julie Locher

David Roth

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among religiosity, spirituality, physical health and mental well-being among a sample of homebound older adults. Taking a life course approach, this study explored how religiosity and spirituality across the life course influence homebound elders’ health and well-being. The sample consisted of 200 community-dwelling, homebound adults aged 60 and older (mean age 79, 62% White, 38% African American, 80% female, and 20% male). Participants completed a guided interview that measured physical health and mental well-being as well as involvement in three domains of religiosity and spirituality across the participants’ life history (extrinsic religious practices, intrinsic religious practices and faith). In separate models, structural equation modeling path analyses were utilized to examine the relationship among physical health and mental well-being and the three domains of life course religiosity/spirituality. Also included in the models were measures of religious support, forgiveness, instrumental support, emotional support, age, comorbidity, gender, race, religious affiliation, caregiver network and socioeconomic status. Findings indicated that life course extrinsic religious practices and religious support were positively associated with physical health. Life course extrinsic and intrinsic religious practices, instrumental and emotional support and being African American were positively associated with mental well-being. It appears that maintaining continuity in the frequency or intensity of praciii tice of at least one form of religiosity or spirituality after becoming homebound is protective of health and well-being among homebound older adults. Furthermore, it appears that continuity in life course intrinsic religious practices is especially beneficial to mental well-being for older adults who become homebound.



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