Cover: US Religious Congregations' Programming to Support Veterans

US Religious Congregations' Programming to Support Veterans

A Mixed Methods Study

Published in: Journal of Religion and Health, 2015

Posted on rand.org Nov 20, 2015

by Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Ann C. Haas, Laura Werber

Religious congregations may be well equipped to address veterans' reintegration needs, but little is known about the prevalence and nature of such support. We conducted a mixed methods study using nationally representative congregational survey data and in-depth interviews with congregational leaders. Overall, 28 % of congregations nationally reported having programming to support veterans and positive, independent predictors included: community context (county veteran presence, high-poverty census tract, rural compared to urban location); congregational resources (more adult attendees, having a paid employee that spent time on service programs); and external engagement (assessing community needs, collaboration, and social service participation). Qualitative interviews revealed a range of activities, including attending to spiritual issues, supporting mental, physical and social well-being, and addressing vocational, legal, financial, and material needs.

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