Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1172–1188 | Cite as

Protective Role of Religious Involvement Against Depression and Suicidal Ideation Among Youth with Interpersonal Problems

  • Yasmin C. Cole-Lewis
  • Polly Y. Gipson
  • Kiel J. Opperman
  • Alejandra Arango
  • Cheryl A. KingEmail author
Original Paper


This study examined religious involvement—private religious practices (PRP), organizational religiousness (OR), and religious support (RS)—in relation to depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation (SI) and its protective role, considering youths’ school and parent-family connectedness. Youth, ages 12–15 (n = 161), were screened for peer victimization, bullying perpetration, and low social connectedness, and assessed for depressive symptoms, SI, school connectedness, parent-family connectedness, and religious involvement. Results indicated PRP and RS were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms; PRP and OR were associated with less SI. Controlling for connectedness, PRP remained associated with less SI only. Results suggest the importance of considering religious involvement as a target of youth depression and suicide prevention interventions.


Religion Depressive symptoms Suicidal ideation Connectedness 



This study was partially funded by a CDC Grant to Cheryl King, Ph.D. (U01-CE-001940-01). Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at The University of Michigan (CTSA: UL1TR000433). The authors thank Jean Pletcher and Rebecca Lindsay, M.P.H. for administrative and research assistance; Bianca Burch, M.S.W., Tasha Kelley-Stiles, M.S.W., and Rachel Moore, M.S.W. for assistance with data collection; Neera Ghaziuddin, M.D. for her assistance with risk management; Deborah Stone, Sc.D., M.S.W., M.P.H. and Wendy LiKamWa McIntosh, M.P.H. for study consultation; our community advisory board; and the youth and families who participated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasmin C. Cole-Lewis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Polly Y. Gipson
    • 1
  • Kiel J. Opperman
    • 1
  • Alejandra Arango
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheryl A. King
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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