The Impact of Community Involvement, Religion, and Spirituality on Happiness and Health among a National Sample of Black Lesbians
Abstract

Abstract:

The health and health-care research community is slowly turning its attention to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people of color. This study advances such efforts by exploring the relative impact of engagement in the LGBT community, religiosity, and spirituality on self-reported happiness and overall health among a national sample of black lesbians. Employing OLS (ordinary least squares) regression analysis, we find that having a higher household income, being in a romantic relationship, and having higher levels of spirituality are robust predictors of happiness, while being younger, having a higher household income, a regular health-care provider, no religious affiliation, and higher levels of spirituality all predict increased levels of self-reported overall health. We conclude that access and spirituality are key factors shaping happiness and health among black lesbian women. Future research should build upon this finding and the limited number of works exploring the unique capacities of spirituality as practiced among this population to promote positive health behaviors and shape health-related policy.