The research paper “A Multidimensional Look at Religious Movement and Psychological Well-Being among Urban Elderly African Americans” by Frazier, Mintz and Mobley discusses importance of religion and religious institutions for African Americans and tries to identify relations between religious life and psychological well-being among elder representatives of African Americans. It is known that religion has played crucial role in the lives of African Americans and it is the Black church that preserves their cultural and religious heritage, values and beliefs.

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African Americans claim that religious life gives them power to overcome difficulties, strength, assistance and moral guidance how to behave. Moreover, church gives sense of unity and community or, in other words, sense of belonging. Studies of positive well-being are divided into subjective which aims at more global evaluating of life quality and psychological which aims at examining existential challenges of life. The researchers used multidimensional model of religiosity: organizational, non-organizational and subjective.

Participants of research were 92 older African Americans, though data from 6 participants were neglected as 2 responses were claimed to be incomplete and 4 responses were considered sever health problems. The final study involved 86 participants:  36 men and 50 women with no current health problems and a mean age of 68.7 years. The marital position represented all status as never married, married, divorced, and widowed.

Educational background was presented by high school education, college education and professional education. The instruments involved were lack of sample-specific reliability, multidimensional measure to analyze religious involvement, scales of PWB, and demographic data. Participants were selected from 6 settings; three of them were senior citizen centers and the other three were national public service organizations. Local church or community sponsored each of three participants.

The results showed that organizational, non-organizational and subjective religious involvement was associated with certain aspects of psychological well-being among African Americans of older age. It is revealed that religious involvement affects positive relations with other community members, personal growth, purpose in life and environmental mastery. Moreover, religious involvement influences self-acceptance and increases self-confidence. Despite the fact that importance of religiouslife among older African Americans is well documented, the researchers contribute this are offering their own empirical research which shows that religious involvement positively affects lives of older population.

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The current study is claimed to be the first which aims at examining relations between organizational and subjective religiosity. Researchresults suggest “a model in which three independent sources of co-variation describe the relations between religious involvement and PWB (psychological well-being)”. (p.588) Self-appreciative religiosity is proved to create more favorable and loyal perceptions of interpersonal relations and religiosity of others. Summing up, canonical results illustrate that psychological well-being is directly related to religious behavior and positive attitudes towards one’s religiosity. It means that the working hypothesis is proved: religiosity and psychological well-being are interrelated in older African Americans.

Researchers argue that their study can be used in counseling psychology practice because psychologists are interested in overlooking religiosity and relate in to older African Americans. Therefore, the authors recommend psychologists to work with religious involvement because it is associated with positive well-being: “By maintaining collaborative relationships with cultural referents, counseling psychologists may increase their effectiveness with older AAs”. (p.589). Researchers hope that their study will increase cultural awareness of needs and desires of older African Americans.

References

Frazier, Ch., Mintz, L.B., & Mobley, M. (2005) .A Multidimensional Look at Religious Movement and Psychological Well-Being among Urban Elderly African Americans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52, 4, 583-590.
 

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