259617 Predictors of Religiosity in a Cohort of African Americans

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Hee-Soon Juon, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Janice V. Bowie, PhD, MPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Margaret E. Ensminger, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Religiosity and health are positively related. Studies on predictors of religiosity are few, especially among African Americans. We identify early predictors of mid adulthood religiosity in a longitudinal cohort of African Americans.

Methods: The study is prospective study of a community cohort of 1242 African Americans from 1966-1967 to 2002-2003. We use exploratory factor analysis to construct multidimensional religiosity. Then, we perform linear regression analysis to examine the preditors of religiosity.

Results: Measures of religiosity from mid adulthood were assessed using 13 items. Exploratory factor analysis found four factors: 1) religiosity as resource (alpha=.79, n=6); 2) spiritual struggle (alpha=.56, n=3); 3) youth religiosity (alpha=.75, n=2); and 4) young adult religiosity (alpha=.55, n=2). The predictors were: religiosity as resource -- 1st grade shy behavior and more educational attainment for males; social ties in young adulthood for females; spiritual struggle –less educational attainment; youth religiosity --1st grade shy and aggressive behavior for males; 1st grade math grades for females; young adult religiosity-- social ties in adolescence for males and females and 1st grade shy and aggressive behavior and living in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of blacks in young adulthood for females.

Conclusions: Findings from the study indicate that religiosity is a multidimensional construct. Behavior and school performance as early as first grade predict later religiosity. Social connectedness also is predictive of later religiosity. This is one of few studies that identifies predictors of religiosity across the life course among a longitudinal cohort of African Americans. 2-->

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Examine the religiosity constructs among African Americans 2. Identify predictors of religiosity from the prospective study of African Americans

Keywords: African American, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator for the project in the past 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.