This study will build on the knowledge already gained from the Landmark Spirituality and Health Survey (LSHS). A longitudinal follow-up will enable us to determine whether religion and spirituality (R/S) predict mortality, physical health, and emotional well-being after five-years. The mortality status of participants from LSHS (n=3010) will be determined by a two-step process: 1) matching their names with the National Death Index (which contains data on every death in the United States) and 2) conducting phone calls to participants and up to two previously-provided contacts. Brief (10 minute) phone surveys will be conducted with each living participant to collect information about physical and emotional health status and life stressors over the past five years as well as current levels of R/S and R/S coping. Basic analyses will be conducted through Cox regressions predicting 1) all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events/cardiovascular mortality. Additional analyses for living respondents will be conducted with Ordinary Least Squares regressions to predict 2) self-reported physical health and 3) emotional well-being, controlling for values gathered at LSHS Wave 1 as well as other covariates. Further analyses examine mediators of the R/S health relationships (health behaviors, biomarkers, and psychosocial variables), and aspects of R/S as buffers between stress and mortality/health/emotional well-being. Finally, the longitudinal nature of the design also allows us to examine the contributions of R/S to change in health over time and the contributions of health to changes in R/S over time. Determining which religion and spirituality factors predict greater survival, and better physical and emotional well-being over time will illuminate the importance of these factors and provide guidance for interventions that improve human health and well-being.
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