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The relationship between religiousness and health among sexual minorities: A meta-analysis.
Psychological Bulletin  (IF17.737),  Pub Date : 2021-04-01, DOI: 10.1037/bul0000321
G Tyler Lefevor,Edward B Davis,Jaqueline Y Paiz,Abigail C P Smack

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 147(7) of Psychological Bulletin (see record 2022-08521-004). In the article, there was an error in the calculation of the effect sizes from one study. The three effect sizes for Wolff et al. (2016) listed in Table B1 of the online supplemental materials should have been "r = .09, r = -.02, r = -.05," rather than "r = -.18, r = .53, r = -.35." We rechecked the calculations for other studies and effect sizes and found no additional errors. Further, analyses rerun with the revised data set resulted in no changes in significance for any analyses that included this study; hence, no conclusions were changed because of this error. In the article, the sentences in the final paragraph of the Statistical Analyses section that described this study as an outlier were deleted and replaced with "No such outliers were found." All versions of this article have been corrected.] Meta-analyses suggest that religiousness/spirituality (R/S) is consistently and positively associated with health (average r = .15); however, the strength and direction of this relationship is much less clear among sexual minorities, and many sexual minorities experience tension related to R/S. To address this, we present results from the first meta-analysis of the relationship between R/S and health among sexual minorities. Using 279 effect sizes nested within 73 studies, multilevel meta-analyses suggest a small but positive overall relationship between R/S and health among sexual minorities (r = .05), with a substantial amount of residual heterogeneity. Moderator analyses clarify that this relationship is particularly positive when R/S is conceptualized as spirituality (r = .14) or as religious cognition (e.g., belief; r = .10). The relationship between R/S and health disappears or becomes negative when participants are sampled from sexual minority venues (e.g., bars/clubs; r = .01). Minority stress, structural stigma, and causal pathways theories provide some structure to understand results; however, none of these theories is able to explain results fully. We synthesize these theories to provide an initial theoretical explanation: the degree to which R/S promotes or harms sexual minorities' health depends on (a) where the individual is in their sexual identity development/integration; (b) what their current R/S beliefs, practices, and motivations are; and (c) how well their environmental circumstances support their sexual and/or religious identities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).