Religion, spirituality, and risk for incident posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and hazardous drinking in U.S. military veterans: A 7-year, nationally representative, prospective cohort study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

While religion and spirituality (R/S) have been linked to positive mental health outcomes, most studies have employed cross-sectional designs, which do not allow one to evaluate the utility of R/S in predicting these outcomes. To address this gap, this study analyzed data from a 7-year nationally representative, prospective cohort study of U.S. military veterans to examine the effects of R/S on the development of incident mental health outcomes in this population. Specifically, we examined the association between organizational religious activity (ORA), non-organizational religious activity (NORA), and intrinsic religiosity (IR), and the risk of incident PTSD, suicidal ideation (SI), and hazardous drinking (HD). Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that ORA predicted a lower incidence of PTSD and SI; NORA a greater risk of developing HD; and IR a lower risk of developing HD. These results suggest that religion and spirituality, assessed in a nationally representative sample of military veterans, predict risk of developing PTSD, SI, and HD, over and above sociodemographic factors and perceived social support. Clinical implications and strategies for incorporating R/S into mental health assessment and interventions in this population are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rubenstein, A; Koenig, HG; Marin, DB; Sharma, V; Harpaz-Rotem, I; Pietrzak, RH

Published Date

  • December 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 295 /

Start / End Page

  • 1110 - 1117

PubMed ID

  • 34706422

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2517

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jad.2021.08.128


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands