A study from Temple University has supposedly shown that traditional religious spirituality has a positive correlation with depression in people attending church, while those that did attend church were 30% less likely to have depression. Confused? Well, it seems like depression may be a cause to go to church, while attending church might soothe one’s troubled heart.
From the press release:
In a study published on-line this month in Psychological Medicine, Maselko [Joanna Maselko, Sc.D] 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-being.
Maselko theorizes this is because people with depression tend to use religion as a coping mechanism. As a result, they’re 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.
Press release: Spirituality protects against depression better than church attendance