Date: December 2002
Creator: Pruett, Charlie D., Jr.
Description: This dissertation research project was conducted to investigate religion as a coping resource in later life. The major proposition of the study was that intrinsic religious orientation is positively associated with mental health in late life. A forty three-item questionnaire was distributed to residents of four independent retirement communities resulting in a sixty-six percent return rate. The convenience sample of 214 individuals, with a mean age of 81.94 years, consisted of 156 female and 58 male respondents. Intrinsic religious orientation was held as the independent variable, while mental health was the dependent variable. Stress vulnerability characteristics were held as control variables including age, gender, education, stressful life events, marital status, perceived social support, and physical health. The zero order correlation between the independent and dependent variables was r = .128, sig. = .034 (1 tailed). When all control variables were entered, the relationship between intrinsic religious orientation and mental remained, r = .116, sig. = 046 (1 tailed). Regression analysis produced three predictors of mental health for females: stressful life events, age, and intrinsic religious orientation. Intrinsic religious orientation did not significantly change the relationship between stressful life events and mental health. A highly narrow variability in the sample limited ...
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