- Is Jewishness Related to How American Jewish Women Age?
- Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
- Indiana University Press
- Number 32, Spring 5778/2018
- pp. 38-57
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Jewish exceptionalism has been considered from many different perspectives. One perspective that has been neglected is whether Jewish Americans age differently than other Americans, and whether any difference that is observed can be attributed to their religion or religiosity, or to other characteristics such as socioeconomic status (e.g., higher education and relative affluence) and family characteristics (e.g., fewer divorces, fewer children). In the current paper, Jewish women ages 50–74 are compared to similarly aged women of non-Jewish religions and of no religion in terms of objective health and subjective aging, controlling for educational attainment, objective and subjective house-hold income, work status, volunteer activity, family status, number of children, social support, and religiosity. Jewishness does not have significant relationships with objective health or subjective aging when age, education, socio-economic status, work status, volunteer activity, family variables, supportive relationships and religiosity are controlled. Moreover, religiosity does not have a significant relationship with Jewish women’s objective health or subjective perception of their aging when these other variables are controlled, in contrast to non-Jewish women.