Church Attendance and Religious Experience : Differential Associations to Well-Being for Norwegian Women and Men?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionSAGE Open 2015 10.1177/2158244015612876
Previous studies have shown that gender may moderate the relationship between religiousness and mental health in most countries, but few studies have been conducted in Norway and Denmark. This study examined gender differences in religious experiences and church attendance as predictors of existential well-being among 295 women and 233 men from the general Norwegian population. Analyses showed that the structural equation models for women and men did not differ significantly on the global level. The models for women and men, however, showed different patterns. Among men, church attendance and negative religious experiences predicted existential well-being; among women, positive and negative religious experiences were related to existential well-being, but church attendance was not. The present findings suggest that men may benefit more from active religiousness, whereas women may benefit more from affective religiousness. Comparing these results with research in other cultural contexts, we find that different operationalizations of church attendance yield the same types of patterns across cultural contexts. Consequently, the benefits of religiousness may be similar for women and men irrespective of cultural context.