Religiosity and Adolescent Major Depressive Episodes Among 12–17-Year-Olds

  • Keith A. KingEmail author
  • Alique Topalian
  • Rebecca A. Vidourek
Original Paper


This study examined whether age plays a role in the relationship between religiosity and adolescent major depressive episodes (MDEs). The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data was examined. Odds ratios were computed to determine if the association between religiosity and MDE differed based on age of adolescent among 12–13-year-olds, 14–15-year-olds, and 16–17-year-olds. Results indicated that 9.7% of adolescents reported having an MDE within the past year. Past-year MDE did not differ based on religious attendance for any of the three age groups. However, 12–13- and 14–15-year-olds who did not feel their religious beliefs influence how they make decisions in their life were at increased risk for a past-year MDE. For 15–16-year-olds and 16–17-year-olds, those who did not feel it was important that their friends share their religious beliefs were at increased risk for a past-year MDE. Such findings appear to indicate that certain aspects of religiosity may provide a significant protective effect against adolescent MDE. Prevention professionals and health educators should consider these findings to help bolster ongoing and future MDE prevention efforts. Recommendations for future research are provided.


Religiosity Religion Depression MDE Adolescent 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith A. King
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alique Topalian
    • 1
  • Rebecca A. Vidourek
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Promotion and Education ProgramUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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