Finding success and health through God: a study of cultural models and health among Brazilian Pentecostals

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dc.contributor DeCaro, Jason A.
dc.contributor Oths, Kathryn S.
dc.contributor Lynn, Christopher D.
dc.contributor Thoma, Stephen
dc.contributor.advisor Dressler, William W.
dc.contributor.author Dengah, Henri Jean Francois
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-01T16:46:42Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-01T16:46:42Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001179
dc.identifier.other DengahII_alatus_0004D_11457
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/1655
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract This dissertation investigates the influence of religious cultural consonance on well-being. In particular, I ask if religious conceptions of ideal acolyte identity and behavior buffer daily stressors experienced by socially and economically marginalized Brazilian Pentecostals. Between 1960 and 1985, the Protestant population of Brazil quadrupled. This expansion however, is disproportionately among Brazil's poor, disenfranchised, and minority populations. This research posits that Pentecostal communities offer an alternative cultural-landscape to create identity, power, and status--which may contradict, compensate, and even challenge the dominant norms. Thus, religious cultural consonance may be a specific mechanism that marginalized Brazilian Pentecostals utilize to mitigate the physiological and psychological stress of their daily lives. This mixed-methods research is conducted in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. The project utilizes two specific communities: The Assembléia de Deus (AD) and Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (IURD). The AD is theologically more sectarian than the IURD, advocating a greater separation between their faith and the secular world. This cross-cultural comparison is valuable for examining potential differences in the interaction of religiosity and sectarianism in the appraisal and embodiment of psychosocial stress. Research therefore focuses on: (1) the construction and distribution of religious cultural models of ideal personhood and lifestyle; and (2) evaluating well-being through psychological health measures in relation to religious models. This research offers an understanding of how religion influences psychological well-being. More specifically, this research empirically shows how religion is a cultural institution that can offer an alternative and attainable set of life goals and identities. By conceiving religion as composed of a series of cultural models, differential adherence or cultural consonance with religious and secular ideals can be evaluated by their influence on mental well-being. Ultimately, this research will contribute to understanding the ways culture and religion shape psychological health.
dc.format.extent 362 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Cultural anthropology
dc.subject.other Mental health
dc.subject.other Religion
dc.title Finding success and health through God: a study of cultural models and health among Brazilian Pentecostals
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of Anthropology
etdms.degree.discipline Anthropology
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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