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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to analyze religiosity by doing a cross-generational study
using R scale formulated by Deka and Broota (1985) across four age groups, 20-25, 30-35,
40-45 and 50-55 years. The participants were selected using purposive sampling method. The
first objective was to study the impact of age on expressed religiosity of participants in the age
group of 20-55 years and hypothesis testing was done wherein the alternate hypothesis was
retained. The second objective was to determine whether religiosity scores vary with respect
to self-ratings of physical health. The results indicated that religiosity varies with increasing
age. Also, it was found that religiosity varied with respect to self-ratings of physical health.
Methodological limitations and the results from one way ANOVA suggest that there is need to
have a comprehensive research in the future.

Keywords: Indigenized psychology physical health, religiosity, R-Scale


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Religiosity and age

Cross Sectional Study of Religiosity, Physical Health and Age

Culture can be defined as a collective phenomenon that consists of shared meanings,


which provide a common frame of reference for a human group to make sense of reality,
coordinate their activities in collective living and adapt to external environment (Chiu & Hong,
2006). Shared or cultural knowledge, which consists of learned habits of thinking, feeling and
interacting with people, gives rise to shared meaning, which are carried in the shared physical
environment, social institutions, social practices, language, conversation scripts etc. This
shared knowledge is acquired by each and every individual in a human group which they apply
to organize their experiences, to guide their life practices and to transmit it to other group
members. Thus, culture can also be defined as a network of shared knowledge that is produced,
distributed and reproduced among a collection of interconnected individuals (Chiu & Hong,
2006).

Cultural Relativism is the view that moral or ethical systems, which vary from culture
to culture, are all equally valid and no one system is really better than any other. This is based
on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and
wrong is a product of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the
cultural perspective of each person. Ultimately, this means that no moral or ethical system can
be considered the best, or worst, and no particular moral or ethical position can actually be
considered right or wrong.

There are four psychological perspectives whose adherents focus on human culture as
the paramount factor that shapes the influences, thought and behaviour. These orientations are
cross cultural psychology, cultural psychology, psychological anthropology and indigenous
psychology.

Cross-cultural psychology is the study of similarities and differences in individual


psychological functioning in various cultures and ethnic groups; of the relationships between
psychological variables and sociocultural, ecological, and biological variables; and of current
changes in these variables (Berry, 1992, p.2).

Culture psychology seeks to discover systematic relationships between cultural and


behavioural variables. It attempts to understand individual psychological functioning in the
cultural context in which it is developed (Berry, 1994, p.4).
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Religiosity and age
Psychological anthropology is the process of minding and of human agency, and tends
to the maintenance of sanity (and breakdown) as humans impose their realities on what is out
there (Spindler, 1994, p.4).

The cross cultural approaches to culture and psychology and many other perspectives
assume that culture is an antecedent to human thought and behaviour. Berry (1992) have
proposed that the major orientations in cross-cultural psychology assume cultural expressions
for psychological and behavioural differences among people. A second approach that attempts
to define culture in terms of the constraints that limit rather than determine a groups
behavioural repertoire also assigns antecedent status to culture (Poortinga, 1990). Finally,
cultural psychology makes similar assumptions. Shweder (1990, p.1) states that cultural
traditions regulate the human psyche, resulting in ethnic divergences in mind, self, and
emotion. Hence, it appears that nearly all social scientists in this field acknowledge that
culture can play a crucial role in shaping virtually any aspect of human behaviour.

Indigenous Psychology

Indigenous psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour (or mind) that is
native, that is not transported from other regions, and that is designed for its people (Kim and
Berry, 1993, p.2).

The disappointment with the Western domination of psychology and the belief that the
Western-trained psychologist cannot fathom with equal and deep understanding of all other
cultures, a growing interest in indigenous psychologies has recently emerged.

Indigenous means produced naturally in a region; belonging naturally to the soil


(Sykes, 1976). Indigenous psychology according to Enriquez (1990), is a system of
psychological thought and practice that is rooted in a particular cultural tradition. Heelas
(1981) regards it as distinct from specialist psychology that has grown out of scientific
experiments. It attempts to develop a behavioural science that matches the sociocultural
realities of ones own society (Berry, Poortinga, et al., 1992, p.381).

There are four underlying threads in the above definitions of indigenous psychology.
First, psychological knowledge is to be externally imposed; rather the cultural tradition should
give rise to it. Second, true psychology lies not in artificially induced behaviour, but in daily
activities of people. Third, behaviour is to be understood and interpreted not in terms of
imported categories and foreign theories, but in terms of indigenous and local frames of
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Religiosity and age
reference and culturally derived categories (Berry, et al., 1992, p.380-381). Fourth, indigenous
psychology embodies psychological knowledge that is relevant and is designed for its people.
It reflects the sociocultural reality of its society. Azuma (1984) states that it is a route to
appropriate psychology.

D.Sinha (1965) states that, indigenous psychology is an integration of modern


psychology with Indian thought. In this approach concepts are locally defined and provide a
contextually meaningful and problem oriented perspective.

Kim and Park (2000) articulate indigenous psychology as a transactional paradigm in


which context, epistemology and phenomenology are central aspects of research (p.71).

Its core assumptions are:

1. Subjective and objective perspectives are not separate realities, but they represent two
interrelated ways of understanding reality.
2. Research is recognized as a value-laden enterprise in search of probabilistic
understanding of the world rather than a search for objective, deterministic, and
mechanical knowledge.
3. Research topics and stimuli must be meaningful and conceptualized rather than created
arbitrarily by researchers.
4. People are recognized as interactive and proactive agents of their own actions.

Indigenous psychology is useful for studying the impact of political, economic, religious,
and social aspects on a specific society. South Africa for example, has been in political and
racial turmoil for decades if not centuries, enduring violence and apartheid. Development of
indigenous psychology as a focus can limit influence of western concepts and encourage
cultivation of socially appropriate methods for the area. According to Lawson, Graham, and
Baker (2007), South African psychology should address specific issues related to apartheid
such as violence, poverty, racism, and HIV/AIDS to overcome social unrest. Other issues that
should also be addressed include addressing the lingering individual trauma associated with
apartheid and using a more inclusionary theory versus the exclusionary policies of past
psychologies. Indigenous psychology explicitly advocates for incorporating both the content
and the context of research. It is important to understand the importance of globalization when
exploring indigenous psychologies.
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Religiosity and age
The discipline of psychology as developed in India is primarily based on the knowledge
and know how imported from the Euro American as a part of large scale transfer of western
knowledge and education (D. Sinha, 1986). The colonial conditioning of Indian mind led to
gross neglect and avoidance of psychology in the intellectual and cultural tradition in India
which has been shaping the life and social practices of the Indian people since long. After
gaining political independence in 1947 noticeable changes started taking place and marked
growth in the quantum of reserch publications can be seen after 1970. For a long period,
psychology taught in the Indian universities remained purely western psychology and attempt
was made to safeguard it from the possible contaminating effects of Indian culture particularly
its religio philosophical thought. Its teaching maintained a strong universalistic stance. The
research studies largely focused on testing the adequacy of western theories and concepts
wherein the subjects provided objective behavioural data. In this scheme of scientific acivity,
culture was an irrelevant and extraneous factor in the genuine search of behavioural laws. The
S-O-R framework till now has furnished the basic paradigm for psychological research. Such
a practice of psychology was non reflexive and therefore, could not recognize the
discontinuity between the native knowledge system in India and the western psychological
conceptual categories. The current western thinking about the science of psychology in its
prototypical form, desite being local and indigenous, has assumed a global representation and
is now treated as universal or the psychological claiming a pan human level legitimacy.

It was only during 1970s that Indian psychologists started taking note of the problems in
terms of methodological artifacts and incompatibility between theories and Indian reality
(Mukherjee, 1980 and Rao, 1986). During 1980s signs of disillusionment with the state of
affairs emerged ( Mohanty, 1988) and innovative approach and indigenous thinking became
visible. Attempts to go beyond emulation of western models also started ( J. Sinha & Prakash,
1993) and value of indigenization was gradually recognized (Adair et al, 1995). In recent years
scholars have started moving towards reorienting psychological discourse by locating it in the
culturally rooted conceptual space.

Paranjpe (1984, 1988) has shown the possibility of relating eastern and western
conceptualisations of self, identity and conscioness. With the advent of cross cultural
psyhology special efforts were undertaken to examine similarities and differences in
psychological processes. The approach in these endeavours remained largely universalistic.
The formulation of abstract and universal laws of behaviour was considered as its cherished
goals. It was thought that cultural differences are either due to methodological errors or due to
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differences in the revolutionary stages of different communities. The development of
indigenous psychological orientation in psychology is a reaction to the unjustified claims of
universality. In this approach culture is not viewed as a variable. It is considered as an emergent
property of individuals interacting with the enviornments. As a superordinate concept culture
offers a framework for viewing what is reevant and meaningful. In indigenous approach to
psychology concepts are locally defined and proved a contextually meaningful and problem
oriented perspective. As D. Sinha (1997, p. 132) has indicated the main features of this
emerging approach include the following: a) psychological knowledge is not to be externally
imposed; rather the cultural tradition should give rise to it, b) true psychology lies not in
artificially ( experimentally contrived) induced behaviour, but in daily, mundane activities of
the people, c) behaviour is to be understood and interpreted not in terms of imported categories
and foreign theories (i.e., imposed ethics), but in terms of indigenous and local frames of
reference and culturally derived categories, and d) it embodies psychological knowledge that
is relevant and is designed for the people. In other words it reflects the socio cultural reality
of its society. In recent years the issue of indigenization has become an important theme in the
discources related to critique and reconstruction amongst psychologists in different parts of the
world.

Paranjpe (1984, 1998) has shown the possibility of relating eastern and western
conceptualisations of self, identity and consciousness. Misra and Gergen (1993) have explored
the possibility of articulating Indian (Hindu) construal of psychological functioning. They have
noted that the ontology of personhood in the Indian context is roots in both the spiritual as well
as the natural worlds. In all cultures, religion has always filled an existential gap15. Religion
provides a way to understand the world; it is an effective basis for self-worth, especially a
collectively based one. It is capable of offering a profound meaning to human life, and it puts
suffering into context. Although other concepts, for example science, might give certain sense
of control to agnostics and atheists, they do not even closely fulfill human needs for sense,
comfort and meaning that religion offers

Person and social situation both mutually define each other and it is also evident that instead
of searching for a simple cause effect relationship, a context dependent or inclusive strategy
would be more desirable. There is now a discernible shift in the academic orientation of Indian
psychologists in which cultural sensitivity and social relevance have become prominent and
led to questioning of western psychological constructs and methods of explicating and
understanding the Indian reality. A fruitful interface between the indigenous Indian thought
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Religiosity and age
and psychological discourse is found in the recent moves in psychological applications like
Guru Chela paradigm of therapy, nurturing task, justice, concept of well being , detachment
and so on.

Sociology claims that it can describe the reality accurately but demands that the
approach towards the subject (religion) should be neutral and have an objective. The sociology
of religion is empirical that means it can only give conclusions that are observable. This implies
that the data they collect for study is observable, measurable and quantifiable. Thus the study
of sociology of religion is conducted with a scientific approach.

Since religion is primarily related to the spiritual, sacred and supernatural forces, it
involves matter of faith, feelings and belief so the sociologists have a little to say about religion
as they have limited matter to describe that is observable. Study of religion with an empirical
approach is a difficult task which also imposes some restrictions on the study but this is less
than those who claim that religion is strictly related to spiritual matters.

Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs and rituals by which a group of people seeks
to understand, explain, and deal with a world of complexity, uncertainty and mystery by
identifying a sacred canopy of explanation and reassurance under which to live.

It is acknowledged that religiosity is an ambiguous concept and its universal definition


is not possible. Western theology skews that religion and culture are nearly indistinguishable
(Sheridan, 1986). Devine, 1986 noted two strategies for defining religiosity: one pattern that
concentrated on identifying necessary and sufficient conditions and the other as identifying a
set of characteristics of religion. Neither of the two strategies was considered adequate. There
are two central criteria that demark the existence of religion. First one involves doctrine and
one or more superhuman agents eg- God and the other involves psychosocial and functional
aspects such as the provision of a sense of meaning and guidance through life.

Researches often use the term spirituality and religiosity interchangeably.


Spirituality is viewed as vague and subjective and involves many disciplines. It has overlapping
boundaries with religiosity. Though there have been debates over the definitions of religiosity
and spirituality (Zinnbauer, pp, Pargament, Cole, Rye, Butter, Belavich, Hipp, Scott and Kadar,
1997) , Thoresen (1998) defined religion as an organized system of beliefs, practices, rituals
and symbols, and spirituality was defined as one's transcendent relationship to some form of
higher power. Here, religiosity is seen as a component of spirituality, which means spirituality
would be then refer to a broader construct than religiosity. But the distinction is that religiosity
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involves an institutionalized doctrine that inhibits people and spirituality involves inner
emotions and is characterized by freedom (Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001). Pargement
(1999) viewed religiosity as institutional restricting human potential and spirituality as
broadening and involving individual expression and reaching potential. Religion may be seen
as organizational, dealing with rituals and ideologies and spirituality may be seen as affective,
experiential and thoughtful and may involve meaning, unity, connectedness and transcendence.
In a study on African American women recruited from community settings were asked to
define spirituality and in another study they were asked to state the distinctions between
spirituality and religiousness (Mattis, 2000). This investigation found that religiosity was
associated with organized worship, and spirituality with holding positive values. Religiosity
was seen to involve a path and spirituality was viewed as involving an outcome, and also that
spirituality involved relationships ti a greater extent that religiosity.

There are many researches and studies which have been done by various cultural
psychologists on religiosity and various constructs such as age, health and subjective well-
being which are discussed in the following section.

Religiosity and Age


Deaton (2009) studied the relation between aging, religion and health. He used data
from the Gallup World Poll to study the within and between country relationships between
religiosity, age, and gender, as well as the effects of religiosity on a range of health measures
and health-related behaviours. He used nationally representative samples to study the correlates
of religion within and between more than 140 countries using more than 300,000 observations.
He found that the elderly and women are more religious. However, it is not clear why women
are so much more religious than men. In most countries, religious people report better health;
they say they have more energy, that their health is better, and that they experience less pain.
Their social lives and personal behaviours are also healthier; they are more likely to be married,
to have supportive friends, they are more likely to report being treated with respect, they have
greater confidence in the healthcare and medical system and they are less likely to smoke. But
these effects do not all hold in all countries, and they tend to be stronger for men than for
women.
Johnson and White (1999) did a study on age and religiosity where they found
evidence from a three wave panel analysis using pooled time series with random and fixed
effects regression models, we examine the effect of age, period, and family life course events
on a measure of religious influence on daily life in a panel of 1,339 adults interviewed three
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times between 1980 and 1992. The results showed a significant, non-linear increase in
religiosity with age, with the greatest increase occurring between ages 18 and 30. We also
found a significant decline in religiosity between 1980 and 1988, but no evidence of a period
effect between 1988 and 1992. Comparison of fixed and random effects solutions found little
evidence that a cohort effect accounted for the age findings. The age effect was significantly
stronger for Catholics than Protestants and the lower religiosity of males was also significantly
stronger for Catholics. Adding children in the range from age two to ten significantly increased
religiosity, but family life course events accounted for little if any of the age effect.

Religiosity and Physical Health


Ellison and Levin (2010) studied the religion and health connection. They examined
the role that religiosity plays in helping people to maintain physical functioning as they grow
older or regain functioning after an illness. They identified 61 quantitative studies that
examined relationships between religiosity and disability level or level of functioning. Of
those, 22 (36%) reported better physical functioning among those who were more religious, 14
(23%) found worse physical functioning, and six studies reported mixed findings. Considering
the 33 highest quality studies, 13 (39%) reported significantly better physical functioning
among those who were more religious, six (18%) found worse functioning and five studies
(15%) reported mixed results. Almost all of these studies involve self-reported disability and
many were cross-sectional, making it impossible to determine order of causationthat is, (1)
does religious prevent the development of disability, (2) does disability prevent religious
activity, (3) does religious promote disability, or (4) does disability cause people to turn to
religion to cope with disability.

Margeti and Barbot (2005) did a research on religiosity and health outcomes wherein
they the studied how the connection between religiosity and health was neglected in scientific
circles until recently. However, the interest in interactions between religiosity and mental and
physical health has started to grow lately. A large proportion of published empirical data
suggest that religious commitment shows positive associations with better mental and physical
health outcomes. There are relatively few studies showing no effect or negative effect of
religiosity on health outcomes. Despite somewhat inconclusive empirical evidence, because of
the difficulties encountered in studying the topic, this area is worth of further investigation.
They reviewed the literature on epidemiological and clinical studies regarding the relationship
between religiosity and mental and physical health.
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Powell and Lynda (2003) did a study on religion and spirituality and their linkages to
physical health. Evidence is presented that bears on 9 hypotheses about the link between
religion or spirituality and mortality, morbidity, disability, or recovery from illness. In healthy
participants, there is a strong, consistent, prospective, and often graded reduction in risk of
mortality in church/service attenders. This reduction is approximately 25% after adjustment for
confounders. Religion or spirituality protects against cardiovascular disease, largely mediated
by the healthy lifestyle it encourages. Evidence fails to support a link between depth of
religiousness and physical health. In patients, there are consistent failures to support the
hypotheses that religion or spirituality slows the progression of cancer or improves recovery
from acute illness but some evidence that religion or spirituality impedes recovery from acute
illness. The authors conclude that church/service attendance protects healthy people against
death.

Religiosity and Subjective Well-Being


Doane (2013) did a study on the association between religiosity and well-being. People
who frequently attend religious services tend to enjoy higher subjective well-being compared
to people who attend less often. This study first tests for the unique contribution of service
attendance in predicting life satisfaction, an indicator of well-being, beyond the effects of other
well-established predictors. Then it examines if perceptions of social support from religion
mediate the association between attendance and life satisfaction. Among an Irish undergraduate
sample of service attending Christians, attendance at religious services predicted a small but
unique proportion of variance in life satisfaction after controlling for other known predictors.
Further, perceived religious social support significantly and fully mediated their association.
This study illustrates the unique contribution of a common measure of religiosity and provides
new empirical evidence for the role of religion in providing supportive relationships, and the
benefits that such support conveys for well-being.

Wani and Khan (2015) did a study on subjective well-being and religiosity: a study of
optimists and pessimists. This study was designed to conduct on the samples of the optimist
and pessimist subjects in order to ascertain the influence of religiosity on subjective well-being.
Using Purposive Sampling technique, 50 optimist and 50 pessimist post graduate students were
selected with the help of Life Orientation TestRevised (LOT-R) developed by Scheier,
Carver, & Bridges, (1994). Religiosity and subjective well-being among optimists and
pessimists were assessed on the basis of scores on Religiosity Scale developed by Deka and
Broota, (1985) and Subjective Well-being Inventory (SUBI) developed by Sell and Nagpal
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(1992). Data was analyzed with the help of Simple Linear Regression. The first finding
revealed that religiosity appeared as a significant predictor of subjective well-being among
optimists. It means that there is a significant positive correlation between religiosity and
subjective well-being among optimists whereas, the second finding also revealed that
religiosity appeared as a significant predictor of subjective well-being among pessimists. This
indicates that there is also a significant positive correlation between religiosity and subjective
well-being among pessimists. Since, the optimists and pessimists were found in maintaining
good subjective well-being but the value of R in case of optimists was found to be much higher.
So as on the basis of the obtained results, the optimists look into more favourable side in the
face of events and anticipate best possible outcomes in their favour as compared to the
pessimist counterpart. It is suggested that one has to make efforts to be optimist rather than
pessimist to conquer challenges in their life.

Brown and Tierney (2006) did a study on religion and subjective well-being among
Chinas elderly population. They found evidence from developed and developing countries
alike demonstrating a strongly positive relationship between religiosity and happiness,
particularly for women and particularly among the elderly. Using survey data from the oldest
old in China, they found a strong negative relationship between religious participation and
subjective well-being in a rich multivariate logistic framework that controls for demographics,
health and disabilities, living arrangements and marital status, wealth and income, lifestyle and
social networks, and location. In contrast to other studies, they also find that religion has a
larger effect on subjective well-being on men than women.

Present Study

The present study aims to analyze religiosity by doing a cross-generational study using
R scale. Religiosity has been defined as the extent of an individuals beliefs in, and
dependency on a supernatural being or God and adherence to the beliefs and practices to one
religion. It was found through literature review that there has not been enough researches in
this field especially in the Indian context. Hence, this research would contribute to the existing
body of research.
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Objectives

To study the impact of age on expressed religiosity of participants in the age group of
20-55 years.
To determine whether religiosity scores vary with respect to self-ratings of physical
health.

Hypotheses

Null hypothesis for objective 1: There will be no significant difference in expressed religiosity
across different age groups

Alternate hypothesis: There will be significant difference in expressed religiosity across


different age groups

Method

Participants

There were certain inclusion criteria or control variables that were decided upon.
Keeping in mind the objectives of the study, it was decided to divide the sample into four age
groups: 20-25 years, 30-35 years, 40-45 years and 50-55 years, mainly because it was intended
to address the cross-sectional trend in expressed religiosity. The participants lived in a housing
society in order to keep the context in which they live as constant. It is assumed that there will
be a specific culture, lifestyle and socio-economic strata of these participants. This is linked to
homogenization of culture which is a consequence of globalization and it will in help in
alleviating diversity and makes it easy to study the population as it is at the same level. Cultural
homogenization is an aspect of cultural globalization and refers to the reduction in cultural
diversity through the popularization and diffusion of a wide array of cultural symbols - not only
physical objects but customs, ideas and values. (Jennings, 2010). The homogenization thesis
proclaims that global culture is becoming standardized around a Western or American pattern.
O'Connor (2006) defines it as the process by which local cultures are transformed or absorbed
by a dominant outside culture. They belonged to the Hindu religion and had a minimum
qualification level of 10+2 and maximum being Masters. Hence, purposive sampling was done
which is a type of non-probability sampling where the samples are chosen on the basis of the
purpose of the study. This resulted in a homogeneous sample which makes it easy to compare
and hence easy to study.
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Tools

The Religiosity Scale designed by Deka and Broota (1998) was used to measure the
construct of religiosity. We are using this scale due to the following reasons:

1. It is a better formulated and structured indigenized measure of religiosity.


2. It has been used extensively in past researches. This scale has been cited in various
researches such as: Wani and Khan (1015): Subjective Well-being and Religiosity: A
Study of Optimists and Pessimists, Maqbool (2011): A Study of Personality Correlates
of Religiosity and Spirituality, Gupta and Kumar (2011): Relationship between
religiosity and psychopathology in patients with depression, and many more.
3. It is an indigenized scale and better constructed to measure behavioural changes of
belief systems.

It consists of 44 items which measure the level of religious faith and belief in the local
language. For example, the first item is heaven and hell do not exist, these are only
imaginations of the mind and the second item is A good person is only one who has full faith
in God. For each item, the subject has to specify if he or she strongly agrees, agrees, does not
know, disagrees or strongly disagrees with statement. Each response is accordingly scored from
1 to 5. The final scale consists of 44 items out of which 25 are positive and 19 negative. The
total score ranges from 44 to 220. The division of subjects into those with high religiosity and
those with low religiosity is done on the basis of a central score of 140. An advantage with the
scale is that its items are not specific to any religion and hence can be used for all religious
groups. The reliability and validity of the final scale has been established. The reliability co-
efficient of 0.96 indicated that the scale has a high reliability. The scale has been cross-
validated on a sample of college students belonging to four different religious groups: Muslims,
Christians, Jains and Hindus. Also, as per the objectives of the study two extra self-rating
questions have been added to measure the physical health and well-being of the respondents
on a scale of 0-10 wherein, 0 is the lowest and 10 the highest.

Procedure

The total sample size was 126. Each investigator collected data from three participants
and each group collected data from four different age groups: 20-25 years, 30-35 years, 40-45
years and 50-55 years. The investigator was allotted the age group of 50-55 years and the
demographic details of the participants are given below.
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Table1: Demographic details of respondents

Name Age Gender Educational Marital


Qualification status
A. Jaiswal 51 Female Masters Married

S. Jha 52 Male Masters Married

V. Bhagat 54 Male Masters Married

The respondents living in a housing society and belonging to Hindu religion were
approached in their behavioural settings. This was followed by a rapport formation wherein the
investigator introduced herself to the participants and shared some information about herself
like her name, the institution she belongs to and also asked about the participants details. The
investigator informed the participants about the purpose of the study. They were assured of
confidentiality of results and a verbal informed consent was taken from them to take part in the
study.

Furthermore, instructions were read out for the respondents, along with any
clarifications if required. The respondents were then asked to rate themselves on the two self-
rating questions of physical health and well-being wherein 0 was minimum and 10 was
maximum. Then they were asked to rate the items enlisted in the questionnaire accordingly.

The participants were attentive throughout the test and filled in the questionnaire
sincerely. They asked the doubts they had in a few questions which was explained to them by
the investigator.

After the completion of the test, it was cross checked that they had scored themselves
on perceived well-being and physical health. If any item was left answered, then the
participants were asked to respond to them. The respondents were also asked to write an
introspective report about how they felt being a part of the study and were free to write anything
else that they would want to mention. The participants were thanked for being a part of the
study and spending their valuable time and being cooperative.
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The individual response sheets will be scored based on the scoring key provided in the
manual of R-scale. Based on the objectives of the study, the results obtained were scored by
individual groups and the data obtained by all the four groups were combined and run through
SPSS for descriptive and correlational analysis.

Results

For the purpose of data analysis, all the individual response sheets were scored using
R-scale manual, data was compiled and coded for data entry into SPSS (codes attached in
Annexure).

Table2: Frequency of demographic details of the Participants

Categories Frequency
Education Bachelors 83
Masters 43
Marital Status Married 88
Unmarried 38
Gender Male 25
Female 101

According to Table1, it is clear that the total sample size of 126 participants consisted
of 101 female and 25 male participants. Out of which 118 were married and 8 of them were
unmarried. There were 83 participants whose education qualification was till bachelors and 43
participants had done masters.

Objective1: To study the impact of age on expressed religiosity of participants in the age group
of 20-55 years.

Table3: Mean and SD of the four age groups


20-25 30-35 40-45 50-55 Total Size
Mean 113.36 133.10 150.30 133.06 132.89
SD 16.96 17.19 25.00 21.04 24.09
Sample Size 30 30 33 33 126
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HO: There will be no significant difference in expressed religiosity across different age groups

HA: There will be significant difference in expressed religiosity across different age groups

According to Table3, the variation in religiosity scores across age groups can be noted.
The mean score for the age group of 20-25 years with the sample size 30 is 113.36 while the
standard deviation is 16.96. In the age group 30-35 years, the mean score is 133.10 and the
standard deviation is 17.19 with the sample size of 30 whereas the mean score for the age group
40-45 years is 150.30 and the standard deviation is 25 with sample size of 33 participants. In
the final age group of 50-55 years the mean score was 133.06 and the standard deviation was
21.04 and the sample size is 33.

Table4: F-test and p value of religiosity scores across ages


SSx Df F p value
Between groups 21443.14 3 17.062 0.001
Within groups 51108.51 122
Total 72551.65 125

According to Table4, it is clear that after applying ANOVA the value of f is 17.062
and the p value is 0.001 which is highly significant as p <0.01.

The alternate hypothesis has been retained from the above table, HA = not HO.

Objective 2: To determine whether religiosity scores vary with reference to the self-
ratings of physical health by the participants.

Table 5: Frequencies of Low, Moderate and High Physical Health

Category Frequency
Low 1
Moderate 30
High 95

The number of participants of moderate and high physical health were initially not comparable
thus every third participant score was taken from the high category so that the two groups
become comparable empirical groups.
18
Religiosity and age
Table6: Religiosity scores on Moderate and High Physical Health

Moderate High Physical


Physical Health Health
(n=30) (n=30)
119 112
95 142
124 140
108 104
147 159
88 128
138 140
146 186
120 158
126 180
125 148
121 143
104 153
131 186
123 140
128 142
140 150
132 136
92 157
160 140
163 128
105 150
168 160
136 109
158 114
134 93
100 125
145 159
133 155
150 142
Mean 142.6 128
SD 22.35 21.26

According to Table6, the mean for moderate physical health is 142.6 and standard
deviation is 22.35.The mean for high physical health is 128 and standard deviation is 21.26.
The total number of participants in both the categories is 30, thus making the two groups
empirically comparable.
19
Religiosity and age
Discussion

The aim of the study is to carry out a cross sectional study of religiosity. The total
number of participants was 126 wherein 25 were male and 101 female. There were 118
participants who were married and 8 of them were unmarried. There were 83 participants
whose education qualification was till bachelors and 43 participants had done masters. The
participants were approached keeping in mind the inclusion criteria, therefore all the
participants belonged to the housing society and were Hindus. The R scale formulated by Deka
and Broota (1985) was used to identify religiosity among respondents who seemed fit to the
Indian context as this scale was not specific to western culture.

Religiosity has been defined as the extent of an individuals beliefs in, and dependency
on a supernatural being or God and adherence to the beliefs and practices to one religion (Deka
and Broota, 1998). It was found through literature review that there has not been enough
researches in this field especially in the Indian context. Hence, this research would contribute
to the existing body of research.

The first objective was to study the impact of age on expressed religiosity of
participants in the age group of 20-55 years.

According to Table 3, the mean of groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 are 113.36, 133.10, 150.30,
133.06 and 126.89 respectively and the standard deviation of those groups are 16.96, 17.19,
25, 21.04 and 24.09 respectively. Since the mean of group 1 is the lowest, it indicates that they
are the least religious. This is because people of the age group of 20-25 years believe that
working and thinking for themselves is more important than being religious. They find their
own moral compass and are more focussed in making their career choices. This age group falls
in Ericksons Intimacy versus Isolation stage where people begin to share themselves more
intimately with others. We explore relationships leading toward longer term commitments with
someone other than a family member. Successful completion of this stage can lead to
comfortable relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship.
Avoiding intimacy, fearing commitment and relationships can lead to isolation, loneliness, and
sometimes depression. The participants in this age are still finding themselves and are in a haste
to do new things. This attitude could affect the religiosity scores as in this mad race other things
might gain more priority over religiosity.

On the other hand, the mean of group 3 is the highest which indicates that people
belonging to the age group of 40-45 years are the most religious as compared to the other three
20
Religiosity and age
groups. This is because they are in the transitory phase. They have a lot of responsibilities as
they have to look after their family as well. Erickson also mentioned that the age group 40-45
falls in the seventh psychosocial stage of Generatively versus Stagnation. During this time,
adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by parenting children or
contributing to positive changes that benefit other people. Contributing to society and doing
things to benefit future generations are important needs at this stage of development. People
want to make a mark on the world through caring for others as well as creating and
accomplishing things that make the world a better place. However, if they are unable to these
individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a
whole and this period can impact their religiosity scores, depending on whether they are
satisfied or not.

The mean of group 2 and group 4 is similar. It is more than group 1 but less than group
3. This suggests that people in the age group of 30-35 years and 50-55 years are more religious
than participants of the age group of 20-25 years but less religious than participants of the group
of 40-45 years. This is because people belonging to the age group of 30-35 years have almost
settled in life and have less responsibilities than people in the age group of 40-45 years. Also,
people belonging to the age group of 50-55 years are almost done with everything in life and
have less responsibilities.

There are a few researches which support the above findings. For example, in 2012,
Pew Research centre found that youth largely equates with a lack of religious activity, One in
four millennials attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared with more than half of
those adults born before or during the II World War. Only 38% of adults born after 1990 say
religion is very important in their lives, compared with 67% of those born before 1945. Overall,
55% of American adults say they pray daily, 53% say religion is very important in their lives
and 50% attend a religious service at least once a month. Deaton (2009) studied the relation
between aging, religion and health and found that the elderly women are more religious.
Johnson and White (1999) did a study on age and religiosity where they examined the effect
of age on a measure of religious influence on daily life in a panel of 1,339 adults interviewed
three times between 1980 and 1992. The results showed a significant, non-linear increase in
religiosity with age, with the greatest increase occurring between ages 18 and 30.

According to Table 4, the result of ANOVA that was run on data which was found to
be, {F (3,122) =17.06, p<0.01)} which indicates that the results are highly significant. Hence,
21
Religiosity and age
the alternate hypotheses has been retained (HA = not HO) as religiosity scores seemed to vary
with increasing age.

The second objective of the study was to determine whether religiosity scores vary with
respect to self-ratings of physical health. There were 95 participants who rated themselves as
having high physical health and 30 rated as having moderate physical health. Only one
participant rated as having low physical health.

According to table 5, the mean and standard deviation of participants who rated
themselves as having moderate physical health were 142.64 and 22.35 respectively. The mean
and standard deviation of participants who rated themselves as having high physical health
were 128.64 and 21.26 respectively. This indicates that participants who perceive themselves
moderately healthy score higher on religiosity as compared to respondents who perceive
themselves highly physically fit. This is because people tend to be religious when they are
lacking something and when they need help to deal with problems in life. This also shows that
the health locus of control for people is to follow religious practices and beliefs. Hence, the
religiosity scores of the participants varied with respect to self-ratings of physical health.

There was only one participant in the low physical health rating. This is because the
test we used wasnt competent enough to gauge the religiosity of people from the low socio-
economic strata and our sample design was skewed. Also, since the education level of the
participants is high and they live in a housing society and belong to upper middle class families,
they have the required resources and are able to afford the available facilities. Hence they have
moderate-high self-ratings of physical health.

Religion is a frequently cited mechanism for dealing with problems in life. It seems to
become especially important once an illness, particularly a life-threatening one, is diagnosed
in a person. About 40% of people older than 40 years use religion as the main way of coping
with stress, when they are hospitalized for somatic illness. Those who use religious means of
coping seem to cope more effectively with their illness than those who do not use religious
means of coping (Margetic, 2006). Also, Barbout (2205) found that religion or spirituality
protects against cardiovascular disease, largely mediated by the healthy lifestyle it encourages.
Ellison and Levin (2010) studied the religion and health connection. They examined the role
that religiosity plays in helping people to maintain physical functioning as they grow older or
regain functioning after an illness. 13 (39%) reported significantly better physical functioning
22
Religiosity and age
among those who were more religious, six (18%) found worse functioning and five studies
(15%) reported mixed results.

The above findings are consistent with the hypotheses and objectives of the study. It
provides insights into the dynamics of the religious behaviour in a comprehensive manner and
it brings numerous ideas for better mental or health management. However, one needs to look
beyond the fact that religiousness helps attain peace, as this cant always be the case. This study
also provides various practicing psychologists a better and relatable understanding of their
clients perspective. However, there a few limitations of the study. Methodological limitations
and the results from one way ANOVA suggest that there is need to have a comprehensive
research in the future. The use of self-filled questionnaire would have led to participants giving
socially desirable answers which defects the purpose of the research. Also, there was lack of
qualitative tools like interviews which could have helped in cross checking the answers and
providing an in depth analysis of the study. However, if the limitations are kept in check this
research could serve helpful. The relation between religiosity and subjective well-being could
also be gauged through this research in future. People belonging to the low socio-economic
strata could also be used to gain another perspective.
23
Religiosity and age
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