Religion & wellbeing in college students – Summary

Objective: To gain a greater understanding of the influence of religious beliefs on the general wellbeing of university students.  Methods: We surveyed students at a large, secular university to evaluate the influence of religious beliefs on general wellbeing.  Results: Of the 227 participants, there were almost equal portions of evangelicals, social Christians, agnostic/atheist and other religious groups. Religious group participation was 36%. Students reported high levels of wellbeing with no statistical difference between religious belief systems. Evangelical Christians they more often perceived themselves as: spiritual (P<0.001), accepted by God (P<0.001) and having more purpose (P=0.01). Students who identified as both evangelicals and ‘saved by grace’ (n=61) showed greater wellbeing (P= 0.015).  Conclusions: University students have high levels of wellbeing across all religious belief systems. Evangelical Christians showed higher levels of spirituality, acceptance by God and purpose. Those who are ‘saved by grace’ showed greater wellbeing than other groups combined.