The Effect of Christian Belief in Eternal Life on Age-Related Social Partner ChoiceJournal: International Journal of Behavioral Research & Psychology (IJBRP) (Vol.03, No. 05)
Publication Date: 2015-07-01
Authors : Chung C; Avalon J. Baldwin;
Page : 109-113
Keywords : Religion; Socioemotional Selectivity Theory; Aging; Social Preferences.;
As adults enter old age, they tend to decrease the size of their social circle; however, despite this decrease, older adults express the same or increased satisfaction in the quality of current relationships and the size of their social circle. Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (SST) suggests that older adults' perceived time left to live was the main reason for their choice of emotionally gratifying partners. In the present study, we examined how the Christian belief of eternal life might impact older adults' social partner choices. If believing in life after death was perceived as an extension of time, older adults who hold this belief should show a decreased tendency to choose family/close friend as social partners than those who do not believe in life after death. Our results showed that Christians who believed in life after death were more likely to choose family members/close friends as their social partners than Atheists. We also found evidence that older adults may not necessarily choose family/close friends more often than young adults, especially when religious beliefs and current goals were taken into account.
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