Dr. VanderWeele speaks on the associations between religious service attendance and mental health.
This presentation also explores the methodological challenges inherent in such research as well as the public health importance of declining rates of religious service attendance.
Lecture highlights include:
- Religious service attendance is often associated with depression and suicide, but a number of studies have suggested almost no association with anxiety
- Cross-sectional studies may limit our understanding of the relationship between religion and mental health, since studies cannot provide evidence concerning the direction of causation
- It is possible lower depression and alcohol consumption rates and higher social supports link religious service attendance to lower suicide rates, though these may explain less than the belief that suicide is wrong