A new longitudinal study shows that for whites and blacks, religious participation leads to “fewer symptoms of depression.” No surprise there. You figure life won’t be as bad when you’re part of a tight knit community.
But surprisingly, the same stat doesn’t hold true for everyone:
… for some Latino and Asian-American adolescents, attending church more often was actually affecting their mood in a negative way.
Asian-American adolescents who reported high levels of participation in their church had the highest number of depressive symptoms among teens of their race.
Likewise, Latino adolescents who were highly active in their church were more depressed than their peers who went to church less often. Females of all races and ethnic groups were also more likely to have symptoms of depression than males overall.
It gets worse for minority women. For example, Asian females have it pretty bad. The authors say this in the discussion section of the paper:
Asian girls who attend religious services may not only experience psychological and social tensions between religious, Asian, and mainstream cultures, but may also suffer from a subordinate status within the religious institutions they attend, contributing to higher depression.
The obvious question: Why do you think this is the case?
(Source: The Barna Group, Ventura, CA)
|Read the Bible in the last week||36%||59%||39%||20%|
|Attended religious service in past week||41%||48%||38%||23%|
|Prayed to God in the past week||81%||91%||86%||46%|
|Participated in a small group, past week||16%||31%||27%||13%|
|Bible is totally accurate (strongly agree)||36%||57%||40%||24%|
|Satan is not a living being (strongly disagree)||30%||27%||30%||14%|
|Jesus Christ sinned while on earth (strongly disagree)||37%||49%||35%||22%|
|Born again Christian||41%||47%||29%||12%|
|Atheist or agnostic||12%||5%||7%||20%|
|Aligned with a non-christian faith||11%||12%||10%||45%|