Demography of Aging Seminar presents two Post Doctoral Students from the Department of Sociology
Date: March 5, 2020, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Gross Hall Room 270
Ruth Wygle - "The effect of confinement conditions on recidivism: a look at the practice of jail leasing by a state prison system"
Anna Holleman - "The Paradox of Mental Health Services in Religious Congregations: The Impact of Orientations Toward Spiritual and Secular Healing"
Abstract: Though the primary role of religious congregations is to offer worship services and guidance in the religious lives of their parishioners, they also play a central role in the provision of mental health services in the United States to both parishioners and non-parishioners alike. Approximately a quarter of individuals who experience mental illness turn to religious congregations for assistance (Wang et al. 2003), with about half of these individuals relying only on religious congregations for their mental health needs (Wang et al. 2005). Though past research has identified numerous characteristics of religious congregations that provide mental health services, a key contradiction has arisen concerning the practice of spiritual healing and its relationship to the provision of mental health services (Frenk 2014; Wong et al. 2018). The current study attempts to adjudicate between these past contradictions by operationalizing a reliance on spiritual prayer for the healing of mental disorders, which past research has shown to be in opposition to a reliance on secular medicine. I find that congregations that practice spiritual healing are more likely to offer mental health services that relate specifically to substance abuse disorders. Understanding this relationship is vital for mental health professionals and policy makers who benefit from understanding the ways the orientation of religious congregations towards secular medicine could aid or impede congregations’ willingness to collaborate to assist individuals in need of mental health services.