Spirituality and Health in Relation to Religious Internalization and Collective Religious Practices
The present investigation is aimed at studying the spirituality and health of senior citizens belonging to Muslim community in relation to types of religious internalization and participation in collective religious practices. For this purpose, two types of religious internalization (identification and introjection) have been worked by the investigator that were presumed to vary in their relative autonomy. Identification represents adoption of beliefs as personal values and is characterized by greater volition and introjection represents a partial internalization of beliefs as characterized by self and other approval-based pressures. In order to identify identification and introjection internalization subjects Muslim Religious Internalization Scale was administered upon 160 senior citizens (age ranging from 60 to 75 years) belonging to belonging to Muslim religious community, On the basis of their scores 24 subjects were identified as introjection internalization and 26 subjects were identified as identification internalization subjects. Spirituality Questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire were administered upon them. In order to find out the significance of difference between the two comparisons groups, t-test was used. Identification internalized subjects were found to be significantly more spiritual than introjection internalized subjects. This finding suggested that religion and spirituality does not oppose to each other, rather it is matter of how does a person internalize his religious faith and practice. In fact, many characteristics that are common to religiousness may also be found in spirituality (Jones, 2004; Idler, 2003). In addition, other social researchers espoused that a search for the sacred can be deemed as the common ground between religion and spirituality. The results further revealed subjects whose religious identification was taken place on identification basis and participating in collective religious practices five times daily exhibited lesser somatoform symptoms, experienced less anxiety and depression and have had less social dysfunction in comparison to those subjects whose religious identification was done on introjection basis and participating in
collective religious prayers five times daily. Thus the relationship between religious practices and health of the subjects was found to be the function of how their religious internalization has taken place.
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