The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Study: Religion can ease college stress

College students take note: Going to church can be good for your mental health. Non-churchgoing students are more than twice as likely (13 percent vs. 6 percent) to report feeling depressed than those who attend services frequently, reports the Higher Education Research Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles (www.spirituality.ucla.edu).

The study of 3,680 third-year college students at 46 colleges and universities found that:

• Seventy-seven percent of students reported feeling depressed frequently or occasionally, compared to 61 percent when they first entered college.

• Fewer students with high religious involvement (attending worship, joining campus religious groups, reading sacred texts) report high levels of psychological distress (feeling overwhelmed, depressed, stressed), than those with low involvement (22 percent vs. 34

• More students with low religious commitment (33 percent) face psychological distress compared to the religiously committed (22 percent).

• Highly spiritual students (they believe all people are spiritual beings and in the sacredness of life) are more likely to have high levels of psychological distress (26 percent vs. 21 percent).

• Twenty-two percent of highly spiritual students report greater spiritual distress (questioning spiritual/religious beliefs), compared to 8 percent of students with low spirituality


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February issue


Embracing diversity