The Relation Between Religiosity and Late-life Depression in a Community Sample of Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Utah State University
A secondary analysis of extant data from The Cache County Study on Memory Health and Aging (CCSMHA), this study examines the association between religiosity and new-onset depression between baseline and 4-year follow-up interviews in a sample of 1,439 community-dwelling elderly members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), aged 65 to 100. Logistic regression models found that church attendance, voluntarism in religious groups, and direct experiences of God occurring more often than weekly were (statistically and practically) significantly associated with lower depression risk. No evidence was found for moderator effects of gender or prior depression history; however, there was some evidence of a mediator effect of social network on the religiosity/depression association. These findings are consistent with similar studies but represent the first such study in an elderly LDS population. Future directions include determining whether individual religious behaviors moderate the effect of stressful life events in this population.