Close Companion Friends in Church and Health in Late Life.
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This study has two principal aims. The first goal is to empirically evaluate new measures of close companion friendships that arise in church. The second goal is to embed these measures in a conceptual model that seeks to assess the relationship between close companion friends at church and health. Based on data from a nationwide sample of older people, the findings reveal that the newly devised measures are psychometrically sound. In addition, the results provide empirical support for the following linkages that are contained in our conceptual model: older people who have a close companion friend at church are more likely to feel they belong in their congregation; old adults who believe they belong in their congregation are more likely to feel grateful to God; and older individuals who feel grateful to God tend to rate their health more favorably.
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