Religiosity, anxiety, and discussions about organ donation: Understanding a complex system of associations

Chris R. Morse, Walid A. Afifi, Susan E. Morgan, Michael T. Stephenson, Tom Reichert, Tyler R. Harrison, Shawn D. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


An increasingly large research base on religiosity has shown it to have a buffering effect on anxiety. In a separate vein, scholars interested in organ donation have suggested that both religiosity and anxiety play roles in individuals' willingness to seek information concerning their decisions about organ donations with their family-an event that greatly increases donation rates. This investigation presents 2 studies that examine the associations between religiosity and anxiety (variously measured), on the one hand, and anxiety and individual's information seeking behaviors with family members about organ donation on the other. The first study offers national samples and relies on self-reports, whereas the second study is one of the few organ donation studies to provide observer ratings of interaction between family members on the issue. Results suggest a more complicated role of religiosity with regard to anxiety than previously believed and show a consistent and robust association between anxiety and communication behaviors regarding organ donation. Implications for campaigns are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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