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Religion and mental health among older adults in Thailand: a national survey study

Religion and mental health among older adults in Thailand: a national survey study This study aims to investigate the association between mental health and religion among Thailand’s elderly population. The role of religion and culture remains limited despite the significant number of devout followers of religions in Thailand. Thai cultural and religious contexts have a dominant and persuasive influence on the lives of Thai older adults.Design/methodology/approachData was collected in 2018 via face-to-face interaction using a structured questionnaire by the Thailand National Statistical Office. The sample consisted of 67,454 individuals, with 13,800 elderly Thai people aged 60 years or older selected for the study.FindingsThe results showed logistic regression with the association between religious activities and mental health in the understudied context of Buddhist elderly in Thailand. The variables were significantly associated with mental health at a 95% confidence level.Originality/valueThe model revealed that particular demographic and socioeconomic factors (age, education and marital status) were related to mental health for older adults. Regression analysis also revealed Buddhist religious activities (giving food to monks, mediation, monkhood, New Year praying, learning Dhamma for solving life’s problems, belief in Buddhism and practicing Buddhist principles) were significantly associated with the mental health of the older adult population in Thailand. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health Review Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1361-9322
DOI
10.1108/mhrj-06-2020-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the association between mental health and religion among Thailand’s elderly population. The role of religion and culture remains limited despite the significant number of devout followers of religions in Thailand. Thai cultural and religious contexts have a dominant and persuasive influence on the lives of Thai older adults.Design/methodology/approachData was collected in 2018 via face-to-face interaction using a structured questionnaire by the Thailand National Statistical Office. The sample consisted of 67,454 individuals, with 13,800 elderly Thai people aged 60 years or older selected for the study.FindingsThe results showed logistic regression with the association between religious activities and mental health in the understudied context of Buddhist elderly in Thailand. The variables were significantly associated with mental health at a 95% confidence level.Originality/valueThe model revealed that particular demographic and socioeconomic factors (age, education and marital status) were related to mental health for older adults. Regression analysis also revealed Buddhist religious activities (giving food to monks, mediation, monkhood, New Year praying, learning Dhamma for solving life’s problems, belief in Buddhism and practicing Buddhist principles) were significantly associated with the mental health of the older adult population in Thailand.

Journal

Mental Health Review JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 30, 2021

Keywords: Religion; Buddhism; Mental health; Older adults; Thailand

References