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Very Religious Less Likely to be Depressed


A report on a new Gallup poll was distributed today showing that the very religious (those who say religion is an important part of their daily life and attend church nearly weekly) are less likely to have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime. Gallup reported that one in six very religious American adults have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, about 24% less likely than those who are moderately religious and 17% less likely than nonreligious Americans. The very religious are also less likely to experience daily negative emotions such as stress, worry, sadness and anger. Interestingly, nonreligious Americans experience lower levels of negative emotions than the moderately religious; the report says these results suggest a non-linear relationship between religiosity and emotional wellbeing, although researchers did mention that those who are steadfast in their religious beliefs may have “better psychological positioning to yield superior emotional wellbeing outcomes than those that pursue religiosity less consistently.” This report was the second of three polls Gallup is undertaking to study the relationship between religiosity and wellbeing.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.