[Is religiosity a protective factor? Social epidemiologic study of adolescent psychological health].Orv Hetil 2009; 150(41):1903-8OH
One of the important tasks of epidemiological analyses is mapping protective factors for health promotion. Religiosity is a protective factor which has an impact on all of the three dimensions of health status, among others, it goes together with a longer lifetime, better indicators of health status indicators and quality of life, less anxiety, depression and suicide, more effective coping strategies. In relation to adolescent health, less investigation has been available thus far.
The main goal of the present study was to investigate the relationship between religiosity and psychological health among adolescents. Regarding religiosity, religious affiliation, religiousness (subjective level of religiosity) and religious participation were assessed. Among health status indicators, occurrence of depressive symptomatology, level of satisfaction with life and self-perceived health were determined.
Data collection of the questionnaire survey was going on among 881 high school students in Szeged (age range between 14-20 years, mean = 16.6 years, S.D. = 1.3 years of age, 44.6% of the sample was female). Associations between health status indicators (as dependent variables) and religiosity factors (as independent variables) were assessed using Odds Ratios calculated by logistic regression analyses.
Our findings suggest that youth's religiosity had the least effect on depressive symptomatology, whereas youth defined themselves as religious and those who actually participated at religious events perceived their own health better and they were more satisfied with their life. Girls tended to belong more to a religious community and their religiosity was more associated with life satisfaction and self-perceived health.
Religiosity is a determinant factor in adolescent psychological health except for depression. Further research is needed to analyze protective factors related to adolescents' health status.