Ageism, Religiosity, and Wellbeing Among Older Adults: Evidence From the European Social Survey (ESS4)

Harris Hyun soo Kim, Jong Hyun Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research shows that ageism (systemic discrimination against people because of their age) significantly undermines physical and psychological wellbeing, particularly among older adults. Our aim is to contribute to the literature by investigating whether this negative association varies across national religious context. We estimate multilevel models by drawing on a subset of data (ages 55 and above) from the fourth round of the European Social Survey (2008/2009). We find that ageism is negatively related to measures of wellbeing (happiness, life satisfaction, self-rated health). More importantly, the relationship is less pronounced in countries with higher levels of religiosity. These findings suggest that the country’s religious environment serves as a buffer against deleterious health consequences of ageism for the older population. Our study thus provides additional evidence on ageism as a critical risk factor and sheds novel light on the moderating role of country-level religiosity as a protective factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-226
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume43
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • European social survey
  • ageism
  • health
  • multilevel analysis
  • religious context
  • wellbeing

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