7th World Congress on Mental Health, Psychiatry and Wellbeing
University of the Basque Country, Spain
Title: Religiosity, psychosocial factors, and well-being: An examination among a national sample of Chileans
Biography: Silvia da Costa
This study analyzed the association between public religiosity, private religiosity, and life satisfaction in a representative sample of the Chilean population. Religiosity was associated with low income and low socioeconomic status and with being older and female. These variables were negatively associated with satisfaction with life. However, attendance at collective religious rituals was associated with life satisfaction, while private religiosity was unrelated. These results support the view that it is the social aspect of religion that benefits well-being. Controlling for gender, age, and socioeconomic variables, public religiosity predicts life satisfaction. Participation in religious rituals was associated with high social support and affect balance (low negative and high positive affect). Mediational analyses that included all variables related to public religiosity (main predictor) and to life satisfaction (dependent variable) showed that attendance to religious rituals had a direct effect on well-being, and a significant indirect effect on well-being through high social support and low negative affect. These results are congruent with previous studies that found that participation in religious public rituals was the most important predictor of well-being, above praying and being religious. Attendance at services could provide more social support and had more important emotional impact than praying, which could be done individually. Collective rituals provide opportunity to higher optimal experience and positive affect, as well as to higher social support, in comparison with similar individual activities. Participation in public religious rituals was associated with low negative and high positive affect. Private religiosity or praying was unrelated to satisfaction with life and associated with illness and unsatisfactory perceived health, but also to positive affect, supporting the idea that people use rituals to generate positive emotions to cope with stress. Results support the hypothesis that in a collectivistic culture religiosity is associated with well-being through the social component of religious ritual.