Spirituality, Religiousness and Mental Health: Scientific Evidence

  • Alexandre de Rezende-Pinto
  • Cristiane Silva Curcio Schumann
  • Alexander Moreira-AlmeidaEmail author
Part of the Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach book series (RELSPHE, volume 4)


This chapter reviews the main and most robust scientific evidence on the relationship between Religiousness/Spirituality (R/S) and mental health. We discuss the proposed mechanisms involved in this relationship, such as purpose and meaning in life, optimism, gratitude, social support, self-esteem, cognitive framework (involving, for example, a sense of coherence), healthier lifestyle, etc. In general, individuals who have higher levels of religious and spiritual involvement have lower rates of depression, suicidal behaviour, and alcohol and drug use and abuse. Although less consistent, there are studies indicating R/S as useful for coping with anxiety and psychotic symptoms.


Mental health Religion Spirituality Anxiety Schizophrenia Psychosis Depression Suicide Alcohol use and abuse Substance use and abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre de Rezende-Pinto
    • 1
  • Cristiane Silva Curcio Schumann
    • 1
  • Alexander Moreira-Almeida
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Center in Spirituality and Health (NUPES), School of MedicineUniversidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF)Juiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Section on Religion, Spirituality and PsychiatryWorld Psychiatric AssociationGenevaSwitzerland

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