Changes in Religiosity in Old Age: An Exploratory Study

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Dov Shmotkin, Haim Hazan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Changes in religious identity and predictors of change in religiousness are explored in a sample of 1,191 self-respondent Jewish Israeli participants, aged 75 to 94. Data were drawn from two waves of a national survey. Assessments included measures of religious identity, reported change in religiousness, religious practice, functional status, cognitive functioning, and depression. Religious change was reported retrospectively and also examined prospectively. Change in religious identity was reported by approximately 25% of participants. Changes in religiousness were associated with worse functional status and with more depressed affect. Changes in religious identity were associated with a practice that is in the direction of change, even prior to the reported change. Findings raise concerns about the adequacy of social or functional support for persons who wish to continue their previous religious practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-273
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • aging
  • health
  • human development
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • psychological well-being
  • spiritual health


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