Spirituality Tops Religion for Depression 
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 Spirituality Tops Religion for Depression

Spirituality Tops Religion for Depression
By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on October 24, 2008
Those who worship a higher power often do so in different ways. For
some, an active religious community is preferred while for others,
praying or meditating are methods to connect.

New research out of Temple University suggests that a persons
religiousness - also called religiosity - can offer insight into
their risk for depression.

Lead researcher Joanna Maselko, Sc.D., characterized the religiosity
of 918 study participants in terms of three domains of religiosity:
religious service attendance, which refers to being involved with a
church; religious well-being, which refers to the quality of a
persons relationship with a higher power; and existential well-being,
which refers to a persons sense of meaning and their purpose in life.

In a study published online this month in Psychological Medicine,
Maselko and fellow researchers compared each domain of religiosity to
their risk of depression, and were surprised to find that the group
with higher levels of religious well-being were 1.5 times more likely
to have had depression than those with lower levels of religious well-

Maselko theorizes this is because people with depression tend to use
religion as a coping mechanism. As a result, theyre more closely
relating to God and praying more.

Researchers also found that those who attended religious services were
30 percent less likely to have had depression in their lifetime, and
those who had high levels of existential well-being were 70 percent
less likely to have had depression than those who had low levels of
existential well-being.

Maselko says involvement in the church provides the opportunity for
community interaction, which could help forge attachments to others,
an important factor in preventing depression. She added that those
with higher levels of existential-well being have a strong sense of
their place in the world.

People with high levels of existential well-being tend to have a good
base, which makes them very centered emotionally, said Maselko.
People who dont have those things are at greater risk for
depression, and those same people might also turn to religion to

Maselko admits that researchers have yet to determine which comes
first: depression or being religious, but is currently investigating
the time sequence of this over peoples lives to figure out the

For doctors, psychiatrists and counselors, its hard to disentangle
these elements when treating mental illness, she said. You cant
just ask a patient if they go to church to gauge their spirituality or
coping behaviors. There are other components to consider when treating
patients, and its important information for doctors to have.

Source: Temple University


Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:35:07 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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