Saturday, April 03, 2004

Mormon Women And Depression

A new study has come out showing that Mormon women are less depressed than women in the country at large. This is in contradiction of the conventional wisdom on the subject, which is that because antidepressant use is higher, they must be more depressed. And of course, no article on the subject of depression in Mormon women can fail to throw in the old canard that they're "oppressed" so they can't be happy, even if (as this article does) they present it in a more or less neutral manner.

I like to see the media reporting good things about my religion as well as anyone else does, but I have to question the conclusion of the study. The study reports that more of the Mormon women were married than were in the population at large. Marriage is known to be associated with lower incidence of depression. So some of the effects the study reports may have more to do with the fact that the women were married than that they were specifically Mormon.

To its credit, the article mentions the association between religiosity and depression. However, it fails to note the association between marriage and depresson.