Religiosity, depression, and
physical maturation in adolescent girls

by
Miller L, Gur M.
Clinical Psychology Program,
Teachers College,
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
lfm14@columbia.edu
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2002 Feb;41(2):206-14


ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of physical maturation on the protective qualities of religiosity against depression in adolescent girls. METHOD: Subjects were 3,356 adolescent girls (mean age 16.0, SD = 1.8) interviewed in 1995 as part of the Wave I In-Home Version of the North Carolina Adolescent Health Study. Maturation was assessed on the basis of self-report of secondary sexual characteristics and age at onset of menstruation. Religiosity was assessed on the basis of personal devotion, personal conservatism, institutional conservatism, and participation in religious community. Logistic regression analyses were conducted with each variable of religiosity used to predict depression, controlling for age and ethnicity. RESULTS: Personal devotion and participation in religious community were associated with a 19% to 26% decreased likelihood of depression in non-highly mature girls and a relatively more robust 32% to 43% decreased likelihood of depression in highly mature girls. Personal conservatism and institutional conservatism were associated with a 17% to 24% decreased likelihood of depression among non-highly mature girls, but were not associated with depression in highly mature girls. CONCLUSION: Physical maturation may be associated with the protective qualities of religiosity against depression in adolescent girls.
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Religion, depression and suicide

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