Religious Involvement and Depression: The Mediating Effect of Relational Spirituality
A growing literature supports the importance of understanding the link between religiosity and youths' adjustment and development, but in the absence of rigorous, longitudinal designs, questions remain about the direction of effect and the role of family factors. This paper investigates the bidirectional association between adolescents' relationship with God and their internalizing adjustment. Results from 2-wave, SEM cross-lag analyses of data from 667 mother/adolescent dyads in Belfast, Northern Ireland (50% male, M age = 15.75 years old) supports a risk model suggesting that greater internalizing problems predict a weaker relationship with God 1 year later. Significant moderation analyses suggest that a stronger relationship with God predicted fewer depression and anxiety symptoms for youth whose mothers used more religious coping.