Research examining the relationships between religion and the health of individuals and populations has become increasingly visible in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Systematic programs of research investigate religious phenomena within the context of coherent theoretical and conceptual frameworks that describe the causes and consequences of religious involvement for health outcomes. Recent research has validated the multidimensional aspects of religious involvement and investigated how religious factors operate through various biobehavioral and psychosocial constructs to affect health status through proposed mechanisms that link religion and health. Methodological and analytical advances in the field permit the development of more complex models of religion's effects, in keeping with proposed theoretical explanations. Investigations of religion and health have ethical and practical implications that should be addressed by the lay public, health professionals, the research community, and the clergy. Future research directions point to promising new areas of investigation that could bridge the constructs of religion and health.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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