Faith conquers all? Beliefs about the role of religious factors in coping with depression among different cultural‐religious groups in the UK
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Mental Health, Religious Belief, Religious Observance and Practice, Comparisons with other communities
Abstract: How effective is religious activity believed to be in coping with depression? This study assessed the perceived effectiveness of different religious activities — previously identified as important in coping — among 282 people in the UK. The mean age was 25 years, and participants were either Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, other religion, or no religion. Relative to other kinds of help for depression, religious activity was not seen as particularly helpful for depression. Religious activity was seen as less helpful by the ever‐depressed than by the never‐depressed and as less helpful by women than by men. Among religious activities, faith and prayer were seen as the most helpful. Muslims believed more strongly than other groups in the efficacy of religious coping methods for depression, were most likely to say they would use religious coping behaviour, and were least likely to say they would seek social support or professional help for depression. Other differences between groups were also observed, and comparisons with qualitative material obtained in an earlier study were made. The implications of these findings for help‐seeking are considered.
Are women more religious than men? Gender differences in religious activity among different religious groups in the UK
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Religious Observance and Practice, Religious Belief, Jewish Women, Gender, Comparisons with other communities
Abstract: Are women more religious than men? Four religious-cultural groups in the UK were examined, using a short measure of religious activity developed to enable measurement comparable between different religious groups. Gender differences were examined among volunteers who were self-defined as Christian (n=230), Hindu (n=56), Jewish (n=157) and Muslim (n=87). Women (n=302) described themselves as significantly less religiously active than did men (n=226), but this effect was confined to the non-Christian groups. It is suggested that the general conclusion that women are more religious than men is culture-specific, and contingent on the measurement method used.
Religious and ethnic group influences on beliefs about mental illness: A qualitative interview study
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Mental Health, Psychology/Psychiatry, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis, Religious Belief, Comparisons with other communities, Interviews
Abstract: An in‐depth qualitative interview study is reported, with respondents (N = 52; all female) from the following urban‐dwelling religious groups: White Christian, Pakistani Muslim, Indian Hindu, Orthodox Jewish and Afro‐Caribbean Christian. Qualitative thematic analysis of open‐ended interview responses revealed that the degree to which religious coping strategies were perceived to be effective in the face of depressive and schizophrenic symptoms, varied across the groups, with prayer being perceived as particularly effective among Afro‐Caribbean Christian and Pakistani Muslim groups. Across all non‐white groups, and also for the Jewish group, there was fear of being misunderstood by outgroup health professionals, and among Afro‐Caribbean Christian and Pakistani Muslim participants, evidence of a community stigma associated with mental illness, leading to a preference for private coping strategies. The results lend further support to recent calls for ethnic‐specific mental health service provision and highlight the utility of qualitative methodology for exploring the link between religion and lay beliefs about mental illness.
Beliefs about the Efficacy of Religious, Medical and Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Depression and Schizophrenia among Women from Different Cultural–Religious Groups in Great Britain
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Jewish Women, Comparisons with other communities, Mental Health, Interviews, Psychology/Psychiatry, Religious Belief
Abstract: In a semi-structured interview study we examined the views of 59 adult women from five cultural–religious groups in Britain (black Christian, white Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim) on the efficacy of different forms of help for depression and schizophrenia. We compared the perceived effectiveness of religious help with psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. Religious factors were viewed as more important for depression than for schizophrenia. Of the possible religious interventions, prayer was most often seen as helpful. Between-group differences are described. Religious factors were clearly seen as important in managing mental illness, and this has implications for help-seeking and adherence.