Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Depression, spirituality and gender in adolescence

Girls are twice as likely as boys to become depressed during adolescence, a trend that persists into adulthood. Much research has been devoted to looking into this disparity and one of the most robust protective factors identified so far is spirituality - a sense of closeness with God, feelings of interconnectedness with the world or an awareness of a transcendent dimension. Relational spirituality incorporates the idea that daily experience can be organized and understood through dialogue with God. A study of 615 adolescents in the U.S. found that, overall, both levels of depression and relational spirituality were higher in girls. Daily spiritual experiences, forgiveness and religious coping were associated with less depression - but only in girls.

Desrosiers, Alethea and Miller, Lisa - Relational spirituality and depression in adolescent girls Journal of Clinical Psychology October 2007, 63(10), 1021-1037

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