Thursday, August 25, 2011

Believing in Depression: Religion and Mental Health

Individuals placing a high level of importance on religion or spirituality may be less susceptible to recurring depression, according to a new study in the August 24 AJP in Advance. The10-year prospective study focused on the adult offspring of participants in an earlier study that found a link between religiosity/spirituality and a reduced risk of major depression.

Lisa Miller, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and education at Columbia University Teachers College, led a team of researchers in assessing the mental health of 114 adult children of parents both with and without depression. Individuals reporting a strong connection to religion or spirituality at the beginning of the study were found to have approximately one-fourth the risk of experiencing major depression as other participants by the end of the study.

Read the full study results in AJP in Advance at

Additional information about the relationship between religion and spirituality and the diagnosis, course, and outcome of mental illness can be found in Religious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis at

(Image: Shutterstock)


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