Religiosity and depressive symptoms among elderly persons
In this survey among 172 elder inhabitants (55-89) of Sassenheim, a semirural town in the Netherlands, the association between religiosity and depressive symptoms is examined. Religiosity is operationalized as religious salience: the importance of religion in one's personal life (Hoge 1985).
Both religious salience and depressive symptoms are significantly correlated with gender, marital status, income, age and chronic diseases. A negative association between religious salience and depressive symptoms appears when the mentioned factors are controlled for. Next, elderly with and without chronic diseases are considered separately. A negative association of religious salience with depressive symptoms is present only among those elderly with chronic diseases. This is an indication that religious salience has a buffering effect on the depressive effects of chronic diseases.