A decrease in anxiety about death and increase in life satisfaction and self esteem was noted among older individuals listening to religious music.
In particular, listening to gospel music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and an increase in sense of control.
These associations are similar for blacks and whites, women and men, and individuals of both low- and high-socioeconomic status.
The article, titled 'Listening to Religious Music and Mental Health in Later Life,' was authored by Matt Bradshaw, PhD, of Baylor University; Christopher G. Ellison, PhD, of the University of Texas-San Antonio; Qijan Fang, MA, of Bowling Green State University; and Collin Mueller, MA, of Duke University.
"Religion is an important socioemotional resource that has been linked with desirable mental health outcomes among older U.S. adults," the authors stated.
"This study shows that listening to religious music may promote psychological well-being in later life," they added.
The research is published online in The Gerontologist.