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Theses Doctoral

Religiosity and Depression: A Ten-Year Follow-up of Offspring at High and Low Risk for Depression

Sage, Mia

One of the most thoroughly researched areas of mental illness in the context of its association with religiosity is depression. The thrust of studies published over the last century found religious/spiritual factors to be generally associated with lower rates of depression. The majority of studies on religion and depression have been cross-sectional. The primary aims of this study are to investigate the relationship between religiosity and depression longitudinally, utilizing a 10-year follow-up, and to explore the potential differential impact of religiosity on the prevalence of depression in those at high versus low risk for depression. Results suggest that 1) prospectively, a personal importance of religion is protective against MDD over a 10-year period; 2) prospectively, there exists a differential effect of religious belief on MDD in individuals at high versus low risk for depression; 3) prospectively, the protective effect of religious/spiritual importance against MDD is exclusive to individuals at high risk for depression based on parental MDD status; 4) Time 10 Catholicism is protective against MDD cross-sectionally 5) The protective effect of Catholicism may be more prevalent in individuals at low risk for depression than in individuals at high risk for depression; 5) cross-sectionally, there exists a differential impact of religious attendance on the prevalence of MDD in those at high risk versus those at low risk for depression at Time 10: for those at high risk for depression, religious attendance is associated with increased rates of MDD; 6) cross-sectionally, after controlling for social support there exists a differential impact of religious attendance on MDD in those at high versus low risk for depression: in individuals at high risk for depression, after controlling for social functioning, religious importance becomes a risk factor for MDD.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Miller, Lisa F.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 28, 2011
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