Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 120–135 | Cite as

Importance of Religion or Spirituality and Mental Health in Canada

  • Maryam Dilmaghani
Original Paper


Using the latest mental health cycle of the Canadian Community Health Survey (N = 20,868), this paper examines how the importance of religion or spirituality in one’s life associates with mental health. Based on this question, the population is divided into three groups of high religiosity, average religiosity, and secularized. Secularized individuals are shown to have large deficits in all the psychological markers suggested to mediate the relationship between religiosity and mental health, compared to the two other groups. In spite of these deficits, the secularized and the highly religious are found almost equally more likely to rate their mental health as excellent, than the individuals with average religiosity. Interestingly, these two groups are also more likely to rate their mental health as poor. Considering the ability to deal with day-to-day demands and unexpected problems in life as the dependent variable yields comparable results. Various explanations are explored.


Religious belief Spirituality Mental health Canada 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals, performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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