Religiosity and Depression Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in India: Results of a National Survey in 2017–2018

Supa Pengpid, Karl Peltzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the association between religiousness (affiliation, nonorganizational, organizational, and intrinsic religiosity) and major depressive disorder (MDD) and depressive symptoms among older adults in a national population survey in India. In total, 72,262 people (≥ 45 years) from the cross-sectional longitudinal aging study in India 2017–2018 responded to questions on religiosity, MDD, and depressive symptoms. Results indicate that 57.0% of participants were engaged in high nonorganizational (daily prayer) religiosity, 14.0% engaged in high (> 1/week or every day) organizational religiosity (attending religious services) and 34.9% had high intrinsic religiosity. In the adjusted logistic regression analysis, high nonorganizational religiosity (daily prayer), and high intrinsic religiosity were inversely associated with MDD. Similarly, high nonorganizational religiosity and high intrinsic religiosity were inversely associated with depressive symptoms. Organizational religiosity was not significantly associated with MDD or depressive symptoms. Compared to Hindus, Christians had lower odds of MDD and Sikhs had lower odds of depressive symptoms. High religiosity was observed among older adults in India. Nonorganizational and intrinsic religiosity were inversely associated with MDD and depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • India
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Older adults
  • Religiosity

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