Does Religiosity Exacerbate or Buffer the Experiences of Depression and Anxiety among Intimate Partner Violence Victims?

Kimberly Turner, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Shane Sharp, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Numerous researchers have shown that individuals high in religiosity suffer less from negative mental health outcomes (such as depression and anxiety) than do their nonreligious counterparts. In this paper, we use data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study to investigate (1) if this relationship holds for individuals who experience intimate partner violence (IPV), and (2) if the effects of religiosity on mental health are direct or mediated by other factors. Preliminary results suggest that while personal religiosity buffers the negative mental health effects of IPV, this effect is small when compared to the negative mental health consequences associated with IPV. The buffering effects of religiosity often become insignificant when measures of perceived social support and substance abuse are included. This suggests that religiosity does not influence mental health directly; rather, religiosity influences mental health through other factors. We conclude with empirical and theoretical implications.

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Presented in Poster Session 3