Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joseph O. Baker

Committee Members

Paul Kamolnick, Candace Forbes-Bright


Previous literature shows an overwhelmingly positive relationship between religiosity and health. Researchers theorize that service attendance, social capital, and group identity verification mediates this positive relationship. There is an upward trend in secularity in the U.S. with more individuals describing themselves as spiritual but not religious (SBNR).Current research does not clearly depict who comprises the SBNR or how varying degrees of secularity fit into the relationship between religion and health. Using data from the GSS, this study examines basic sociodemographic characteristics of the SBNR and compares the SBNR to other religious and secular groups on various health measures. This study finds that the SBNR are younger, unmarried, and more educated than others, and the SBNR fare better on some measures of health. Future research should investigate the potential protective health factors of being SBNR and how this fits into the overall relationship between religion and health.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.