Characteristics of Danish Centenarians’ Religious Beliefs: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

Tobias Opsahl*, Alex Kappel Kørup, Karen Andersen-Ranberg, Kaare Christensen, Niels Christian Hvidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research has shown that in groups of increasing age, religiousness becomes more prevalent. However, centenarians have only to a very limited extent been included in studies. The aim of this study is to characterize religious beliefs and practices in a larger sample of centenarians than have before been included in research on the matter. Using the Danish Civil Registration System, all individuals turning 100 in 2015 in Denmark were invited to participate (N = 498); 364 participated (73%) (82% women). Descriptive statistics on the centenarians’ self-reported belief, frequency of prayer and attendance at service were compared to the Danish general population. Associations between religious measures and age were examined using multivariable logistic regressions, controlling for sex and region. Centenarians more often reported being believers, praying and attending religious service, compared to all other age groups. Age, gender and region were all significant predictors of religiousness. The results of this study add to the body of the literature on religiousness and ageing, but extend it by including older age groups than have before been investigated. These findings warrant further investigations into the role of belief in this group and how it relates to mental health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
ISSN0022-4197
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10. Jan 2020

Fingerprint

Religion
Age Groups
Population
Denmark
Research
Mental Health
Logistic Models
Religious Beliefs
Religiousness

Keywords

  • European values study
  • Oldest old
  • Religious coping
  • Religious practice
  • Transcendence

Cite this

@article{b3a9cbe48f6d4bd1894cc5205b0eb624,
title = "Characteristics of Danish Centenarians’ Religious Beliefs: A Nationwide Population-Based Study",
abstract = "Research has shown that in groups of increasing age, religiousness becomes more prevalent. However, centenarians have only to a very limited extent been included in studies. The aim of this study is to characterize religious beliefs and practices in a larger sample of centenarians than have before been included in research on the matter. Using the Danish Civil Registration System, all individuals turning 100 in 2015 in Denmark were invited to participate (N = 498); 364 participated (73{\%}) (82{\%} women). Descriptive statistics on the centenarians’ self-reported belief, frequency of prayer and attendance at service were compared to the Danish general population. Associations between religious measures and age were examined using multivariable logistic regressions, controlling for sex and region. Centenarians more often reported being believers, praying and attending religious service, compared to all other age groups. Age, gender and region were all significant predictors of religiousness. The results of this study add to the body of the literature on religiousness and ageing, but extend it by including older age groups than have before been investigated. These findings warrant further investigations into the role of belief in this group and how it relates to mental health.",
keywords = "European values study, Oldest old, Religious coping, Religious practice, Transcendence",
author = "Tobias Opsahl and K{\o}rup, {Alex Kappel} and Karen Andersen-Ranberg and Kaare Christensen and Hvidt, {Niels Christian}",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s10943-020-00981-1",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Religion and Health",
issn = "0022-4197",
publisher = "Springer",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Characteristics of Danish Centenarians’ Religious Beliefs

T2 - A Nationwide Population-Based Study

AU - Opsahl, Tobias

AU - Kørup, Alex Kappel

AU - Andersen-Ranberg, Karen

AU - Christensen, Kaare

AU - Hvidt, Niels Christian

PY - 2020/1/10

Y1 - 2020/1/10

N2 - Research has shown that in groups of increasing age, religiousness becomes more prevalent. However, centenarians have only to a very limited extent been included in studies. The aim of this study is to characterize religious beliefs and practices in a larger sample of centenarians than have before been included in research on the matter. Using the Danish Civil Registration System, all individuals turning 100 in 2015 in Denmark were invited to participate (N = 498); 364 participated (73%) (82% women). Descriptive statistics on the centenarians’ self-reported belief, frequency of prayer and attendance at service were compared to the Danish general population. Associations between religious measures and age were examined using multivariable logistic regressions, controlling for sex and region. Centenarians more often reported being believers, praying and attending religious service, compared to all other age groups. Age, gender and region were all significant predictors of religiousness. The results of this study add to the body of the literature on religiousness and ageing, but extend it by including older age groups than have before been investigated. These findings warrant further investigations into the role of belief in this group and how it relates to mental health.

AB - Research has shown that in groups of increasing age, religiousness becomes more prevalent. However, centenarians have only to a very limited extent been included in studies. The aim of this study is to characterize religious beliefs and practices in a larger sample of centenarians than have before been included in research on the matter. Using the Danish Civil Registration System, all individuals turning 100 in 2015 in Denmark were invited to participate (N = 498); 364 participated (73%) (82% women). Descriptive statistics on the centenarians’ self-reported belief, frequency of prayer and attendance at service were compared to the Danish general population. Associations between religious measures and age were examined using multivariable logistic regressions, controlling for sex and region. Centenarians more often reported being believers, praying and attending religious service, compared to all other age groups. Age, gender and region were all significant predictors of religiousness. The results of this study add to the body of the literature on religiousness and ageing, but extend it by including older age groups than have before been investigated. These findings warrant further investigations into the role of belief in this group and how it relates to mental health.

KW - European values study

KW - Oldest old

KW - Religious coping

KW - Religious practice

KW - Transcendence

U2 - 10.1007/s10943-020-00981-1

DO - 10.1007/s10943-020-00981-1

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 31925634

AN - SCOPUS:85077692163

JO - Journal of Religion and Health

JF - Journal of Religion and Health

SN - 0022-4197

ER -