The roles of stressful life events and religiosity in adolescent depression

Andrea Pozza, Barbara Barcaccia, Davide Dèttore

Abstract


Religiosity, the extent to which an individual is committed to the religion he/she
professes, may be a protective factor against depression. Although in the Italian
socio-cultural context religion is a predominant feature of society, the role of
religiosity as a psychological buffer against depression in adolescence is understudied.
The present study explored (a) the association between recent stressful life
events and depressive tendencies and (b) whether higher religiosity could be a
predictor of lower depressive symptomatology controlling for the effects of
stressful events in a sample of Italian adolescents. Two hundred seventy-five
adolescents completed the Children’s Depression Inventory and two
questionnaires measuring religiosity and perceived stressful events, respectively.
Fifteen percent of the sample reported depressive tendencies above clinical
thresholds. Having experienced school problems and parents’ separation
was associated with higher depressive symptomatology. When religiosity was added
in the logistic model, the effects of the stressors became non-significant, and a
significant effect of religiosity emerged (β= -0.55, p= 0.01). Adolescents with
higher religiosity reported lower depressive tendencies, irrespective of the stressors’
type. Religiosity might be a psychosocial buffer against depression in adolescence.


Keywords


adolescents; depression; stressful life events; religion; values.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4458/2733-01

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