The Sanctification of the Body and Behavioral Health Patterns of College Students
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Students; Body Image; Perception; Self Concept; Religion
Psychiatry | Religion
This study applies the construct of sanctification to college students' perceptions of their bodies. Students (N = 289) completed measures on the extent to which they viewed their bodies as being a manifestation of God (e.g., "My body is a temple of God") and as characterized by sacred qualities (e.g., holy, blessed, sacred). Greater levels of both forms of sanctification were related to higher levels of health-protective behaviors, strenuous exercise, satisfaction with one's body, and disapproval of alcohol consumption as well as to lower levels of illicit drug use, unhealthy eating practices, and alcohol consumption. Viewing the body as having sacred qualities was also related to lower rates of binge eating and illicit drug use.