Religion/Spirituality and Disability in Older Adults

Alyssa Cantin, Fordham University


A secondary data analysis was conducted using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to explore the relationships between physical disability, religion/spirituality (R/S), and mental health outcomes. The sample consisted of older adults randomly sampled from the United States. Ordinary least square regressions were done to test the proposed hypotheses that severity of disability would be associated with more R/S, more depression and more stress, and that R/S would be associated with less depression and less stress. The main effects were significant, and a mediation regression analysis was completed to determine if R/S significantly mediates the relationship of disability severity with depression and stress. The mediated effect was small but statistically significant, indicating that R/S potentially protects against negative mental health outcomes like depression and stress, as disabilities become more severe. Such findings have important research and practice implications in the treatment of older adults.

Subject Area

Disability studies|Religion|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Cantin, Alyssa, "Religion/Spirituality and Disability in Older Adults" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10807818.