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Religious Involvement, Gratitude, and Change in Depressive Symptoms Over Time

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal. 2009. "Religious Involvement, Gratitude, and Change in Depressive Symptoms Over Time." International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19(3): 155-172.

Three hypotheses are evaluated in this study. The first predicts that feelings of gratitude will offset (i.e., moderate) the deleterious effects of chronic financial strain on depressive symptoms over time. The second hypothesis specifies that people who go to church more often will be more likely to feel grateful. The third hypothesis predicts that individuals with a strong sense of God-mediated control will also feel more grateful. Data from a nationwide longitudinal study of older adults in the United States (N = 818) provide support for all three hypotheses. The data suggest that the effects of ongoing economic difficulty on depressive symptoms are especially pronounced for older people who are less grateful. But in contrast, persistent financial difficulties fail to exert a statistically significant effect on depressive symptoms over time for older individuals who are especially grateful. The results further reveal that more frequent church attendance and stronger God-mediated control beliefs are associated with positive changes in gratitude over time.

DOI:10.1080/10508610902880204 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2843928. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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