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Awareness of the Historical Role of the Church and Change in Self-Esteem among Older African Americans

Authors

  • Neal Krause,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Michigan, USA
      Neal Krause, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA. Email: nkrause@umich.edu
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  • R. David Hayward

    1. University of Michigan, USA
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Neal Krause, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA. Email: nkrause@umich.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to see if greater awareness of the historical role of the church in the black community is associated with a greater sense of self-worth among older African Americans. A latent variable model is evaluated that contains the following core hypotheses: (1) older blacks who go to church more often will receive more spiritual support (i.e. encouragement to adopt religious teachings and beliefs) from fellow church members; (2) greater spiritual support is associated with greater awareness of the role that has been played by the church in the black community; and (3) greater awareness of the historical role of the church is associated with a greater sense of self-worth. Findings from a nationwide survey of older African Americans provide support for each of these linkages. Greater confidence may be placed in the findings because they are based on data that have been gathered at more than one point in time.

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