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Religion and depression in adolescence

Fruehwirth, Jane Cooley, Iyer, Sriya and Zhang, Anwen (2019) Religion and depression in adolescence. Journal of Political Economy, 127 (3). 1178 - 1209. ISSN 0022-3808

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Identification Number: 10.1086/701425


Depression is the leading cause of illness and disability in adolescence. Many studies show a correlation between religiosity and mental health, yet the question remains whether the relationship is causal. We exploit within-school variation in adolescents’ peers to deal with selection into religiosity. We find robust effects of religiosity on depression that are stronger for the most depressed. These effects are not driven by the school social context; depression spreads among close friends rather than through broader peer groups that affect religiosity. Exploration of mechanisms suggests that religiosity buffers against stressors in ways in which school activities and friendships do not.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The University of Chicago Press
Divisions: LSE
LSE Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2018 12:02
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 22:12
Projects: P2C HD050924
Funders: Carolina Population Center, Carolina Population Center

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