The Effects of Religious Discrimination on Mental Health vs Physical Health

mental health and religious descrimination

study questions Research finds that experiences of religious discrimination are often associated with poorer health outcomes. According to a recent study by Boniuk Institute researchers published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, experiences of religious discrimination do not universally affect mental and physical health in the same ways.

The researchers found that the context in which religious discrimination happens is important. Interpersonal forms of religious victimization are more consistently associated with reduced well-being than are experiences of discrimination that result from interactions with an organization’s representatives. Further, mental health is more negatively impacted by a wider range of experiences with religious discrimination than is physical health. Across both interpersonal and organizational types of religious discrimination, they found mental health was more likely to be negatively impacted than physical health.

These findings demonstrate the importance of context in studies of the health impacts of religious discrimination, and have implications for how we understand the effects of religious discrimination and how we might help mitigate these effects. The Boniuk Institute’s new Center on Religion, Science, Health, and Environment (CORSHE) will further explore these issues as well as the broader connections of religion to science, medicine, and the environment.

Read the full study online.