Religion and mental health: Evidence for an association


Journal Article (Review)

The relationship between religion and mental health has been debated for centuries. History shows that religious organizations were often the first to offer compassionate care to the mentally ill; however, for hundreds of years the religious establishment also persecuted the mentally ill. Nevertheless, the first form of psychiatric care in Western Europe and the US was known as 'moral treatment', in which religion played a significant role. The teachings of Freud and others during the early twentieth century concerning the neurotic influences of religion have had an enormous impact on the field, nullifying the quite favorable views toward religion held by nineteenth century psychiatrists. In this article, we review research that has found both negative and positive associations between religious involvement and mental health. We then examine the implications of this research for the clinical practice of psychiatry in the twenty-first century.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Koenig, HG; Larson, DB

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 67 - 78

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0954-0261

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09540260124661

Citation Source

  • Scopus