Participation in religious organizations may offer mental health benefits beyond those offered by other forms of social participation

Pop Center Faculty member Mauricio Avendano has co-authored a cross-national study examining whether changes in different forms of social participation were associated with changes in depressive symptoms in older Europeans. Findings show that increased participation in religious organizations predicted a decline in depressive symptoms, while participation in political/community organizations was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. The study was published in American Journal of Epidemiology and was also referenced in Newsweek and other media outlets.

Update: Press coverage of this study continues, with a piece recently published in The Independent.