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Religion and Adolescent Depression: The Impact of Race and Gender

Richard J. Petts and Anne Jolliff
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Jun., 2008), pp. 395-414
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20447514
Page Count: 20
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Religion and Adolescent Depression: The Impact of Race and Gender
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Abstract

Using two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examines whether the relationship between religion and depression varies by race and gender. Results suggest that religious participation and religious importance indirectly reduce depressive symptoms by enhancing social support for youth. This study also suggests that the relationship between religion and depression may be unique for Latino and Asian adolescents. Religious participation and religious importance are associated with increased depression among Asian adolescents. Results also suggest that the relationship between religious participation and depression among Latino adolescents is curvilinear. However, this relationship varies by gender; religious participation is negatively related to depression among Latino males, but the relationship is curvilinear for Latina females. Overall, this study suggests that the relationship between religion and depression among adolescents may be conditioned by race and gender.

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