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Blow to the head makes people feel good about religion

Brain damage, satisfaction and 'higher power' linked

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Psychologists in the US report that people who have suffered a serious blow to the head and who have "a sense of connection to a higher power" tend to report feelings of much greater life satisfaction.

The revelation comes in a study carried out by psychology PhD candidate Brigid Waldron-Perrine and her colleagues, supervised by trick-cycling professor Lisa J Rapport of Wayne State uni.

Having carried out a survey of 88 traumatic brain injury (TBI) sufferers and their significant others, Waldron-Perrine and her colleagues report:

The results indicate that religious well-being (a sense of connection to a higher power) was a unique predictor for life satisfaction, distress and functional ability whereas public religious practice and existential well-being were not.

Or in other words – among people who have been hit hard on the head – religious types enjoy life much more.

Plainly, however, there's no need to be a regular churchgoing religious type to receive this handy benefit.

"[TBI sufferers] often must rely on others for scheduling and transportation to social events, so their public religious participation does not wholly reflect their true use of religious resources," speculates Waldron-Perrine.

"Perhaps especially for those with limited means and few alternatives, religion can take on great power as a psychosocial resource," she adds.

The psychologists' paper can be read here in the journal Rehabilitation Psychology. ®

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