Religiosity, Psychological Resources, and Physical Health


Joonmo Son, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AS1 #04–24 Arts Link, Singapore 117570. E-mail:


Various explanations have been given for the positive association between religiosity and physical health. Using data from two waves of the National Survey of Midlife in the United States (1995, 2005) and retrospective data on the importance of religion in the home in which respondents were raised we find that psychological resources, operationalized by measures of emotional and psychological well-being, mediate the effect of this early exposure to religion but only on self-rated health and physical symptomatology; chronic illnesses and health limitations on activities of daily living are unaffected.