The relations among religiosity, negative cognitions, and depressive symptoms in adolescents in the context of a prevention trial
Mouser, Meghan Marie
The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral(CB) intervention for preventing depressive symptoms in adolescents in comparison to a nonspecific, attention control group and a no intervention/assessment only control. Participants were 217 students attending a local public school [Mean age = 14.43 (SD = .70)]; 64.1% of the sample was female. Religiosity (intrinsic and extrinsic) was assessed at baseline to examine whether such beliefs moderated the relation between the interventions and changes in depressive symptoms measured with the CES-D and CDI. Results indicated that, among adolescents low in intrinsic religiosity, those in the CB condition had significantly lower post-intervention depression scores, controlling for baseline levels, compared to those who were in either the nonspecific attention or no intervention control groups. In addition, whereas no intervention effect was found for adolescents with low levels of interpersonal self-worth (SW) and high extrinsic religiosity, those with low SW and low extrinsic religiosity had significantly lower postintervention depression if they had been in the CB group compared to the other two conditions. Finally, there was no evidence that the nonspecific control condition affected participants' depression scores, thus indicating that the CB program may provide benefits over and above exposure to a supportive environment. These results highlight that different religious beliefs are related to depression and intervention in important and distinct ways.