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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 4

New research

Religious denomination and depressive symptoms among elderly persons

A.W. Braam, A.T.F. Beekman, D.J.H. Deeg, W. van Tilburg

Among elderly in the community of Sassenheim (The Netherlands) is examined whether protestants suffer more depressive symptoms than Roman Catholics and non-church members. Taken into account are salience of religion among the chronic diseased and, in a second sample, a measure of traditionality of belief-contents (orthodoxy). Concluded is that a depressogenic effect of protestantism can be detected among those elderly who do not consider religion to be salient and who disagree with a traditional content of belief.