Religion and health in African Americans: The role of religious coping

Cheryl L. Holt, Eddie M. Clark, Katrina J. Debnam, David L. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To test a model of the religion- health connection to determine whether religious coping plays a mediating role in health behaviors in a national sample of African Americans. Methods: Participants completed a telephone survey (N = 2370) assessing religious involvement, religious coping, health behaviors, and demographics. Results: Religious beliefs were associated with greater vegetable consumption, which may be due to the role of positive and negative religious coping. Negative religious coping played a role in the relationship between religious beliefs and alcohol consumption. There was no evidence of mediation for fruit consumption, alcohol use in the past 30 days, or smoking. Conclusions: Findings have implications for theory and health promotion activities for African Americans. Copyright (c) PNG Publications. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • African Americans
  • Health behaviors
  • Mediation
  • Religion
  • Religious coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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