ERIC Number: EJ794754
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 80
Stress and Depression among Older Residents in Religious Monasteries: Do Friends and God Matter?
Bishop, Bishop J.
International Journal of Aging and Human Development, v67 n1 p1-23 2008
The purpose of this investigation was to explore how friendship and attachment to God provide protective benefits against stress and depression. Participants included 235 men and women, age 64 and older, residing in religious monasteries affiliated with the Order of St. Benedict. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were completed to assess main and moderating effects of friendship and attachment to God relative to the influence of stress on depressive symptomology. Lower degree of friendship closeness (beta = -0.12, p less than 0.10) and greater insecurity with God (beta = -0.15, p less than less than 0.01) were directly associated with greater depressive symptoms. A significant three-way interaction (Stress x Friendship x Attachment to God) also existed relative to depressive symptoms (beta = 0.14, p less than 0.05). Three "stress-buffering" mechanisms emerged relative to the influence of stress on depressive symptomology. First, a greater degree of friendship closeness in combination with less secure attachment to God represented a greater risk for depressive symptoms. Second, greater friendship closeness in combination with greater secure attachment to God reduced the risk for depressive symptoms. Third, lower degree of friendship closeness combined with less secure attachment to God diminished the noxious effects of stress on depressive symptoms. This has implications relative to how social and spiritual resources can be used to reduce stress and improve quality of life for older adults residing in religious communities. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
Descriptors: Quality of Life, Friendship, Depression (Psychology), Stress Variables, Older Adults, Religion, Multiple Regression Analysis, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Security (Psychology), Attachment Behavior, Measures (Individuals), Catholics, Nuns, Clergy, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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