The Pew Internet & American Life Project found that about 40 percent of Americans are active in a church, religious or spiritual organization. These people tend to be more trusting of others, more optimistic, think more highly of their communities and be more involved in the community.
A separate study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2012 found that among 2,100 people polled, 27 percent had major depression at some point and that of women who reported symptoms before 18, about 42 percent stopped attending church services by their early 20s.
“These findings suggest that women are more likely to stop attending religious services after onset of depression,” the study reads.
Becoming inactive in church due to depression helps explain why non-religious people have higher incidences of psychopathology, the research suggests.