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Church-Based Social Relationships, Belonging, and Health Among Older Mexican Americans

Authors


Neal Krause, Department of Health Education and Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109–2029. E-mail: nkrause@umich.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explain how church-based emotional support influences the health of older Mexican Americans. This issue is evaluated with a theoretical model that contains the following core linkages: (1) older Mexican Americans who go to church more often will be more likely to receive emotional support from fellow church members; (2) older Mexican Americans who receive more support from their fellow church members will be more likely to feel they belong in their congregation; (3) older Mexican Americans who feel they belong in their congregation are likely to have a stronger sense of personal control; and (4) older Mexican Americans who have a stronger sense of personal control are likely to enjoy better health. Data from a recent nationwide survey of older Mexican Americans provide support for each of these relationships.

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