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. 2016;20(5):494-9.
doi: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1021752. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Spirituality Attenuates the Association Between Depression Symptom Severity and Meaning in Life

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Free PMC article

Spirituality Attenuates the Association Between Depression Symptom Severity and Meaning in Life

Patricia Bamonti et al. Aging Ment Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objectives: This cross-sectional study examined whether spirituality moderates the association between depression symptom severity and meaning in life among treatment-seeking adults.

Method: Participants were 55 adults (≥60 years of age) newly seeking outpatient mental health treatment for mood, anxiety, or adjustment disorders. Self-report questionnaires measured depression symptom severity (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), spirituality (Spirituality Transcendence Index), and meaning in life (Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale-Meaning in Life subscale).

Results: Results indicated a significant interaction between spirituality and depression symptom severity on meaning in life scores (β = .26, p = .02). A significant negative association between depression symptom severity and meaning in life was observed at lower but not the highest levels of spirituality.

Conclusion: In the presence of elevated depressive symptomatology, those participants who reported high levels of spirituality reported comparable levels of meaning in life to those without elevated depressive symptomatology. Assessment of older adult patients' spirituality can reveal ways that spiritual beliefs and practices can be can be incorporated into therapy to enhance meaning in life.

Keywords: depression; meaning in life; spirituality.

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Figure 1
Figure 1
Simple slope analyses depicting the interaction of depressive symptom severity and spirituality on meaning in life Note. Lines represent spirituality, with the top line representing the highest level of spirituality (STI = 48) and subsequent lines representing lower levels of spirituality in 10 point intervals (48, 38, …). Solid lines indicate statistically significant simple slopes, while dashed lines indicate non-significant simple slopes.

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  • Issues in research on aging and suicide.
    Van Orden KA, Conwell Y. Van Orden KA, et al. Aging Ment Health. 2016;20(2):240-51. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1065791. Epub 2015 Jul 15. Aging Ment Health. 2016. PMID: 26179380 Free PMC article.

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