- The Washington Times - Monday, November 8, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A survey of 3,680 college juniors on 46 varied campuses shows those with active religious involvement are less likely to experience the psychological problems of the sort researchers say increase during the college years.

The report from UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, a standard source for student data, is part of ongoing research on campus religion.

Among its findings: 20 percent of highly religious students reported high levels of psychological distress, compared with 34 percent for those with little involvement in activities like reading Scriptures, attending worship events or joining religious clubs.

The religiously inactive were more than twice as likely to say they felt depressed (13 percent, compared with 6 percent for the religiously active).

Religious activity had little impact on health, but was associated with less alcohol abuse, another college-campus problem.

“This study suggests that religion and spirituality can play a positive role in the mental and emotional health of students,” said Alexander Astin, co-leader of the project.

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