Photo by Dorothy Rowley/The Washington Informer
Photo by Dorothy Rowley/The Washington Informer

African Americans who attend church services are less likely to suffer from mental health issues than those who don’t, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found that those who attended church were less likely to suffer from depression, psychological distress and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

But though churchgoers were also less likely to consider suicide, emotional support from church members was unrelated to depressive symptoms, according to the report published in a recent issue of the Journal of Community Psychology.

The study — titled “Church and Family Support Networks and Depressive Symptoms Among African Americans: Findings from The National Survey of American Life” — involved some 3,000 African-American respondents ages 18 to 93. Researchers examined associations between informal social support from church members and the support from extended family members.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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