Background: This study investigated the association between the religiosity of parents and pre-adolescents, and pre-adolescents' psychiatric problems. Method: In a clinic-referred cohort of 543 pre-adolescents at least once referred to a mental health outpatient clinic mental health problems were assessed using self-reports (Youth Self-Report; YSR), parent reports (Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL), and teacher reports (Teacher's Report Form; TRF) of child behavioral and emotional problems. Paternal, maternal, and pre-adolescent religiosity were assessed by self-report. MANCOVAs were performed for internalizing and externalizing problems as dependent variables, with maternal religiosity, paternal religiosity, pre-adolescent religiosity, parental religious harmony, and gender as independent variables, and socioeconomic status and divorce as covariates. Results: Internalizing problems. Pre-adolescents of actively religious mothers had more internalizing symptoms than pre-adolescents of nonreligious mothers. Harmony and gender did not significantly affect the association between maternal religiosity and internalizing problems. Externalizing problems. No associations between religiosity of pre-adolescents, religiosity of mothers, religiosity of fathers and/or harmony of parents and externalizing problem behavior have been found. Discussion and conclusions: Overall, associations between mental health and religiosity were modest to absent. Results are discussed in the context of a clinic-referred cohort, the quest phase of internalizing religious beliefs and role modeling of parents.

Clinic-referred cohort, Mental health, Parents, Pre-adolescents, Religion, Religiosity,
European Psychiatry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Jagt-Jelsma, W, de Vries-Schot, M, de Jong, R, Hartman, C.A, Verhulst, F.C, Klip, H, … Buitelaar, J.K. (2015). Religiosity and mental health of pre-adolescents with psychiatric problems and their parents: The TRAILS study. European Psychiatry, 30(7), 845–851. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.07.006