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dc.contributor.authorSchwartz, Carolyn E.
dc.contributor.authorMeisenhelder, Janice Bell
dc.contributor.authorMa, Yunsheng
dc.contributor.authorReed, George W.
dc.date2022-08-11T08:10:22.000
dc.date.accessioned2022-08-23T17:05:50Z
dc.date.available2022-08-23T17:05:50Z
dc.date.issued2003-09-01
dc.date.submitted2008-01-15
dc.identifier.citationPsychosom Med. 2003 Sep-Oct;65(5):778-85.
dc.identifier.issn1534-7796 (Electronic)
dc.identifier.pmid14508020
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/44946
dc.description.abstractOBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether altruistic social interest behaviors such as engaging in helping others were associated with better physical and mental health in a stratified random sample of 2016 members of the Presbyterian Church throughout the United States. METHODS: Mailed questionnaires evaluated giving and receiving help, prayer activities, positive and negative religious coping, and self-reported physical and mental health. RESULTS: Multivariate regression analysis revealed no association between giving or receiving help and physical functioning, although the sample was highly skewed toward high physical functioning. Both helping others and receiving help were significant predictors of mental health, after adjusting for age, gender, stressful life events, income, general health, positive and negative religious coping, and asking God for healing (R2 =.27). Giving help was a more important predictor of better reported mental health than receiving help, and feeling overwhelmed by others' demands was an independent predictor of worse mental health in the adjusted model. Significant predictors of giving help included endorsing more prayer activities, higher satisfaction with prayer life, engaging in positive religious coping, age, female gender, and being a church elder. Frequency of prayer and negative religious coping were not related to giving help. CONCLUSIONS: Helping others is associated with higher levels of mental health, above and beyond the benefits of receiving help and other known psychospiritual, stress, and demographic factors. The links between these findings and response shift theory are discussed, and implications for clinical interventions and future research are described.
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.relation<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14508020&dopt=Abstract ">Link to article in PubMed</a>
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/65/5/778.long
dc.subjectAdaptation, Psychological
dc.subjectAdolescent
dc.subjectAdult
dc.subjectAged
dc.subjectAged, 80 and over
dc.subject*Altruism
dc.subjectChristianity
dc.subjectFemale
dc.subjectHealth Status
dc.subjectHumans
dc.subjectMale
dc.subject*Mental Health
dc.subjectMiddle Aged
dc.subjectPersonal Satisfaction
dc.subjectQuestionnaires
dc.subjectRegression Analysis
dc.subjectSampling Studies
dc.subjectSocial Support
dc.subjectSocioeconomic Factors
dc.subjectUnited States
dc.subjectBehavioral Disciplines and Activities
dc.subjectBehavior and Behavior Mechanisms
dc.subjectCommunity Health and Preventive Medicine
dc.subjectPreventive Medicine
dc.titleAltruistic social interest behaviors are associated with better mental health
dc.typeJournal Article
dc.source.journaltitlePsychosomatic medicine
dc.source.volume65
dc.source.issue5
dc.identifier.legacycoverpagehttps://escholarship.umassmed.edu/prevbeh_pp/6
dc.identifier.contextkey413078
html.description.abstract<p>OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether altruistic social interest behaviors such as engaging in helping others were associated with better physical and mental health in a stratified random sample of 2016 members of the Presbyterian Church throughout the United States.</p> <p>METHODS: Mailed questionnaires evaluated giving and receiving help, prayer activities, positive and negative religious coping, and self-reported physical and mental health.</p> <p>RESULTS: Multivariate regression analysis revealed no association between giving or receiving help and physical functioning, although the sample was highly skewed toward high physical functioning. Both helping others and receiving help were significant predictors of mental health, after adjusting for age, gender, stressful life events, income, general health, positive and negative religious coping, and asking God for healing (R2 =.27). Giving help was a more important predictor of better reported mental health than receiving help, and feeling overwhelmed by others' demands was an independent predictor of worse mental health in the adjusted model. Significant predictors of giving help included endorsing more prayer activities, higher satisfaction with prayer life, engaging in positive religious coping, age, female gender, and being a church elder. Frequency of prayer and negative religious coping were not related to giving help.</p> <p>CONCLUSIONS: Helping others is associated with higher levels of mental health, above and beyond the benefits of receiving help and other known psychospiritual, stress, and demographic factors. The links between these findings and response shift theory are discussed, and implications for clinical interventions and future research are described.</p>
dc.identifier.submissionpathprevbeh_pp/6
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Family Medicine and Community Health
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
dc.source.pages778-85


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