This study examines whether the degree of conservatism of the religious climate affects the geographical distribution of late life depressive symptoms. A U-shaped relationship is hypothesized: high levels of depressive symptoms at the extremes (both a-religious and hyperconservative), and a low level in the middle (moderate-conservative). Subjects are 3051 older Dutch citizens (55-85 years), living in 11 municipalities. Depressive symptoms are assessed using the CES-D. Religious climate is estimated on the municipality level, using percentages votes on political parties with a Christian background (moderate-conservative versus hyperconservative). Using multi- level analysis, the results support the U-curve hypothesis.
Braam, A. W., Beekman, A. T. F., van den Eeden, P., Smit, J. H., Deeg, D. J. H., & van Tilburg, W. (1999). Religious climate and geographical distribution of depressive symptoms in older Dutch citizens. Journal of Affective Disorders, 54, 149-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-0327(98)00172-4