The population of older adults in the United States is steadily rising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a call to reduce mental distress in older adults. Research shows that mental distress is associated with depressive symptoms, which are significantly related to many chronic medical conditions, functional impairment, suicide, and all-cause mortality. Depression is a major public health concern. There is an interest in gerontology research on the buffering role of engagement against depressive symptoms such as volunteering, social activities, and religion. Certain religious beliefs and behaviors contribute to maintaining or improving mental health and research suggests that religiosity may act as a buffer against depressive symptoms. As the population of older adults exponentially increases, there is a need for theory guided research that examines the relationship between religiosity and depressive symptoms and mediators as possible mechanisms. This study addresses two important gaps in the literature on depressive symptoms within the religious gerontology field: the relationships of a wider range of religious variables with depressive symptoms, and examining health behaviors and social support as mediators. Data were collected from the University of South Florida (USF) Health in The Villages study, a population-based study of older adults residing in an active living community in southwest central Florida. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted that examined multiple measures of religiosity (organizational religiosity, subjective religiosity, and subjective spirituality) and covariates as predictors of depressive symptoms as defined by the Patient Health Questionaire-2 (PHQ-2). The PHQ-2 is a validated 2-item screener tool for measuring depressive symptoms. A series of mediation analyses were conducted to test for possible mediation of religiosity and depressive symptoms.The population of older adults in the United States is steadily rising.
|Title||:||Religiosity, Spirituality, and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults in an Active Living Community|
|Author||:||Monica D'adrianne Solomon|