Prospective associations between religiousness/spirituality and depression and mediating effects of forgiveness in a nationally representative sample of united states adults

  • Toussaint L
  • Marschall J
  • Williams D
  • 21


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 7


    Citations of this article.


The present investigation examines the prospective associations of religiousness/spirituality with depression and the extent to which various dimensions of forgiveness act as mediating mechanisms of these associations. Data are from a nationally representative sample of United States adults who were first interviewed in 1998 and reinterviewed six months later. Measures of religiousness/spirituality, forgiveness, and various sociodemographics were collected. Depression was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview administered by trained interviewers. Results showed that religiousness/spirituality, forgiveness of oneself and others, and feeling forgiven by God were associated, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, with depressive status. After controlling for initial depressive status, only forgiveness of oneself and others remained statistically significant predictors of depression. Path analyses revealed that religiousness/spirituality conveyed protective effects, prospectively, on depression by way of an indirect path through forgiveness of others but not forgiveness of oneself. Hence, forgiveness of others acts as a mechanism of the salutary effect of religiousness/spirituality, but forgiveness of oneself is an independent predictor. Conclusions regarding the continued development of this type of research and for the treatment of clients with depression are offered.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free