Increased Social Support

Religion is often practiced in the fellowship of others. Frequent religious involvement may be associated with better health due to an expansion of the social support network. A long tradition of research in social epidemiology has demonstrated the salutary nature of social support (House, Lan-dis, & Umberson, 1988) as well as social support's ability to exert a strong and positive influence over a person's ability to deal with and recover from serious illness (Cohen & Willis, 1985; Taylor, Falke, Shoptaw, & Lichtman, 1986).

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