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Altruism and HealthPerspectives from Empirical Research$
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Stephen G. Post

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182910.001.0001

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Altruistic Love and Physical Health

Altruistic Love and Physical Health

(p.422) 23 Altruistic Love and Physical Health
Altruism and Health

Harold G. Koenig (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the associations between altruistic or unconditional love and physical health. It looks at the mind–body relationship and reviews recent research on the effects of negative emotions on medical outcomes, forming the basis for a model by which altruistic activities could indirectly influence physical health by modulating emotions. It then reviews research on the relationship between altruism and physical health, examines the relationship between altruism and religion, and explores whether the increasingly recognized effects of religion on physical health might be partly mediated by altruism. Finally, the chapter considers the implications of these findings for clinical practice and suggests directions for future research in this area.

Keywords:   altruism, unconditional love, physical health, mind–body relationship, negative emotions

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