Religious Transitions Among Baby Boomers From Young Adulthood to Later Life: Associations with Psychological Well-Being Over 45 Years

Woosang Hwang, Xiaoyan Zhang, Maria T. Brown, Sara A. Vasilenko, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We used classification analysis to examine change in religiosity among baby boomers from young adulthood to early old age and how religiosity transition patterns are associated with psychological well-being in later life. In addition, we tested the gender difference in the above association. We applied latent class and latent transition analysis to 392 baby boomers who participated in the Longitudinal Study of Generations in Wave-1 (1971) and Wave-9 (2016). We identified three classes describing religiosity at each wave (strongly religious, doctrinally religious, and weakly religious), and considered five types of change or stability in religious class membership from Wave-1 to Wave-9. Multiple regression with gender interactions revealed that men who stayed strongly religious over the period reported better psychological well-being compared to men who declined in their religiosity; no such pattern was found for women. Our findings suggest that maintaining strong religiosity over the life course was beneficial for baby boom men in later life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • baby boomer
  • latent class analysis
  • older adulthood
  • psychological well-being
  • religiosity
  • young adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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