Religious activity and depression among community-dwelling elderly persons with cancer: the moderating effect of race.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: Research has been oriented toward elucidating the links between religion and mental health. The purpose of this article is to further our knowledge in this area by examining the effect of religious activity on depressive symptomatology among community-dwelling elderly persons with cancer. We also test whether these effects differ between Blacks and Whites. METHODS: We use two waves of data collected from a community-dwelling sample of elderly persons living in North Carolina. Depressive symptomatology is measured using four subscales from the CES-D 20 scale: somatic-retarded activity, depressed affect, positive affect, and interpersonal relations. Measures of religious activity include service attendance, religious devotion, and watching or listening to religious programs. RESULTS: The findings indicate that among Blacks with cancer, religious activity is related to lower levels of depressive symptomatology; no such relationship is found for respondent with other illnesses or no illness. Further, the effects of religious activity are stronger among Blacks than Whites. DISCUSSION: The analyses lend support to the hypothesis that religious activity is a strong predictor of depression in elderly adults with cancer. This finding, however, is not as strong as we had anticipated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Musick, MA; Koenig, HG; Hays, JC; Cohen, HJ

Published Date

  • July 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 4

Start / End Page

  • S218 - S227

PubMed ID

  • 9679523

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geronb/53b.4.s218


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States