chapter
16 Pages

Practical Philosophies: Interpretations of Religion and Spirituality by African American and European American Elders

Religious beliefs are associated with attitudes and psychological processes and expected to be positively associated with organizational religiosity. One area of religiosity that has received less empirical attention but which can be examined within the positive psychology framework, is the role of religious beliefs. Ellison and Levin who suggest that a more in-depth examination of religious beliefs can provide insight into the function of religiosity in the lives of both younger and older adults. Mean comparisons between men and women controlling for age revealed no significant gender differences for the number of religious beliefs, strength of religious beliefs, organizational religiosity, depressive symptoms or positive affect. Examination of the Maximum likelihood estimates (MLEs) reveals that age and religious beliefs exerted similar magnitude of effects on organizational religiosity and that they exerted equivalently sized indirect effects on well-being. The effects of specific beliefs on well-being may reflect a dynamic process that cannot be captured in a cross-sectional design.