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Spirituality and Aging: Comparing Religious and Nonreligious Older Adults

Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 02:30 PM — 04:30 PM


More than one in 10 Americans over the age of 65 answer "none" or "other" when asked what their religion is, yet we have relatively little research about the nature and characteristics of this growing group.  In this study I have looked at some characteristics of older persons who are nonreligious and compared them with seniors who are members of churches and synagogues.  How do they identify themselves?  What do they believe?  How do they cope with death and suffering without a doctrine and dogma to guide them?  How are they different and similar to churchgoing seniors?  This research is based on in-depth interviews with 122 individuals, with some surprising results.

Short Bio:

Dr. Bengtson is a research professor of social work at the USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging. He also holds the title of AARP Professor of Gerontology, University Professor Emeritus. He has published 19 books and over 250 research papers in gerontology, theories of aging, sociology of aging, and family sociology.


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