Religiousness and depressive symptoms among adolescents

Michelle J. Pearce, Todd D. Little, John E. Ferez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Examined the relations between depressive symptoms and (a) 3 standard indicators of religiousness and (b) a potentially more age-specific indicator in a sample of 744 adolescents (M age = 13.06 years, SD = 0.45). Adolescents completed the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality. Results indicate that several dimensions of religiousness are associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms (i.e., attendance, self-ranking, and positive interpersonal religious experience), whereas negative interpersonal religious experience was associated with higher levels. These relations were not moderated by sex or ethnicity. Interpersonal religious experience had a stronger relation with depressive symptoms than did the standard dimensions of religiousness. The importance of social support during adolescence and future directions for this relatively new area of research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


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