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Soc Sci Med. 1995 Jun;40(11):1561-72.

Race, religious involvement and depressive symptomatology in a southeastern U.S. community.

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Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin 78712-1088, USA.


A growing literature suggests that aspects of religious involvement may hold beneficial implications for mental health, and some also suggest that religion is an especially valuable mental health resource for racial minorities in the United States. These issues are explored empirically using data from a large (N = 2956) community sample drawn in the southeastern U.S. Findings include the following: (1) frequency of church attendance is inversely associated with depressive symptoms among whites, but not among blacks. (2) Absence of denominational affiliation is positively associated with depressive symptoms among blacks, but not among whites. (3) Frequency of private devotional activities (e.g. prayer) is positively associated with depressive symptoms among both racial groups. These results are discussed in terms of the distinctive history of the Black Church in the southern U.S. Several promising directions for further inquiry are outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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