Dew, Rachel E. (2019). 6.21 TRAJECTORIES OF RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT AND CORRELATIONS WITH MENTAL HEALTH FROM ADOLESCENCE TO ADULTHOOD. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Objectives Studies demonstrating correlations of religiosity with mental health largely characterize religiousness as a stable construct. However, research has shown that religiosity probably changes significantly across the lifespan. Most of this literature conceptualizes religiosity as attendance at religious services, yet it is likely that other health-related aspects of religion (such as personal devotion, orthodoxy, or private ritual use) also change with development. It is not known whether observed associations of religiosity with such mental health variables as depression, delinquency, and substance abuse also show variation over the lifespan. Methods This study used latent growth modeling to quantify changes in multiple religious variables over time, to identify psychosocial variables associated with these trajectories, and to explore how the relationship between religiosity and mental health changes from early adolescence to adulthood. Analyses used 4 waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health from individuals ages 12–34 years. Results Although religious service attendance decreased over time, the importance of religion increased and the reported frequency of prayer remained relatively stable. Baseline religiosity, as well as changes over time, were related to contextual variables, including race, socioeconomic status, parental religiosity, and peer substance use. Measures of depression, delinquency, and substance use showed differing relationships to religiosity at different waves. Conclusions Religiosity should be conceptualized as multidimensional and dynamic; religion/health research should consider the impact of multiple psychosocial variables, as well as bidirectional relationships with mental health
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Dew, Rachel E.