International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 327–336

Jewish Spirituality, Depression, and Health: an Empirical Test of a Conceptual Framework

  • Elizabeth J. Krumrei
  • Steven Pirutinsky
  • David H. Rosmarin

DOI: 10.1007/s12529-012-9248-z

Cite this article as:
Krumrei, E.J., Pirutinsky, S. & Rosmarin, D.H. Int.J. Behav. Med. (2013) 20: 327. doi:10.1007/s12529-012-9248-z



Little is known about the links between spirituality and mental health among Jews.


This study assessed trust/mistrust in God and religious coping and examined their relationships to depressive symptoms and physical health. Religious affiliation and intrinsic religiousness were examined as moderating variables and religious coping was examined as a mediator.


Anonymous internet surveys were completed by 208 Jewish women and men of diverse denominations who resided primarily in the USA.


Trust in God and positive religious coping were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms and mistrust in God and negative religious coping were associated with greater depressive symptoms. Intrinsic religiosity showed a small moderation effect for mistrust in God and negative religious coping in relation to depressive symptoms and for trust in God in relation to physical health. Further, positive religious coping fully mediated the link between trust in God and less depressive symptoms and negative religious coping fully mediated the relationship between mistrust in God and greater depressive symptoms.


The data lend themselves to a possible integrative cognitive-coping model, in which latent core beliefs about the Divine activate coping strategies during times of distress, which in turn impact psychological health. The findings highlight the potential clinical significance of spirituality to mental health among Jews and provide a basis for future longitudinal, experimental, and treatment outcome research.


Religious coping Trust in God Jews Depression Health 

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Krumrei
    • 1
  • Steven Pirutinsky
    • 2
  • David H. Rosmarin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Social Science DivisionPepperdine UniversityMalibuUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryMcLean Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBelmontUSA

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