When Older Adults Pray

According to a recent study, frequent religious service attendance and private prayer were linked to stronger cognitive health among blacks, Hispanics, and whites. Previous research has shown religious involvement benefits physical and mental health of older minority adults.

Zarina Kraal, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan and the study’s lead author, tested whether the findings could extend to cognitive health. The researchers used six years of data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study, which includes responses from more than 16,000 people over age 50. They asked about religious attendance and prayer, and then tested people’s memory skills.

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