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9.08.2008

religious asian american adolescents more depressed?

A new study looking at the effects of religious participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression: Participating In Religion May Make Adolescents From Certain Races More Depressed.

While the study found that white and African American adolescents generally had fewer symptoms of depression at high levels of religious participation, for some Latino and Asian American adolescents, attending church more often was actually affecting their mood in a negative way.

Asian American adolescents who reported high levels of participation in their church had the highest number of depressive symptoms among teens of their race. Females of all races and ethnic groups were also more likely to have symptoms of depression than males overall.

Among adolescents who never attended church, Asian American adolescents reported 4 percent fewer symptoms of depression in the preceding week than did their African-American peers.

In comparison, Asian American youth who attended church at least once a week reported 20 to 27 percent more symptoms of depression than their white and African-American peers who attended at the same level.

The results were recently published in the journal Review of Religious Research. I haven't read through all the details of the study, but it's pretty damn interesting—and very necessary. There definitely hasn't been enough research done on this topic. More here: PARTICIPATING IN RELIGION MAY MAKE ADOLESCENTS FROM CERTAIN RACES MORE DEPRESSED .