Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 331–343 | Cite as

Occupational Distress and Health among a Sample of Christian Clergy

  • Benjamin L. WebbEmail author
  • Kirstie Chase


To examine the association between occupational distress, physical and mental health, and health behaviors among clergy, a convenience sample of full-time Christian clergy (N = 221) completed a questionnaire that included the Clergy Occupational Distress Index (CODI) as well as demographic, occupational, health, and behavioral variables. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Higher scores on the CODI were associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, more hours spent sitting per day, and more hours worked per week. Although years in ministry was not associated with scores on the CODI, a covariate in the model (age) did exhibit an inverse relationship with scores on the CODI. The present study provides support for the potential of occupational distress to negatively influence the health of full-time Christian clergy, especially those who are younger. Further research is needed to examine the temporal relationships among occupational distress, health, and health behaviors among full-time clergy.


Clergy Health Stress Occupational distress 



This research was funded by Seed Grants for Transitional and Exploratory Projects, made available by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


This research was funded by Seed Grants for Transitional and Exploratory Projects, made available by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied HealthSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA

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