Church goers happier?

The Gallup organization reports church going is linked to having a better mood:

Americans who attend a church, synagogue, or mosque frequently report experiencing more positive emotions and fewer negative ones in general than do those who attend less often or not at all. Frequent churchgoers experience an average of 3.36 positive emotions per day compared with an average of 3.08 among those who never attend. This relationship holds true even when controlling for key demographic variables like age, education, and income.

Huffington Post writes:
Who are the happiest people? According to a new report from Gallup, it's those who regularly go to a place of worship, whether it be a church, mosque or synagogue.
Any maybe it shouldn't be a surprise, but the churchgoers' positive emotions are especially high on Sundays -- while everyone else actually sees a decline in mood on that day, according to the findings of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The report is based on the results of 300,000 interviews in 2011. People were asked about the positive emotions (like happiness, learning or smiling) and negative emotions (like sadness, anger and stress) experienced the day before. The researchers tallied up each individual "emotional moment" to determine the survey respondents' emotional well being.
Last month, Gallup came out with a report showing that religious people in America have higher levels of wellbeing than the nonreligious and moderately religious.
And even earlier this year, a Queen's University study showed that thinking about religion is linked with practicing greater self-control in a non-religious task.

Comments (2)

I'd love to see the breakdown by denomination.

Erik Campano

Is there really a cause and effect relation? Could it be that happier people are more likely to socialize with others on a regular basis anyway, while the unhappy - especially those with depression - are self-isolating?

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space