Does faith help you grieve without falling into depression?

Updated: Sep. 5, 2018 at 10:22 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Losing a beloved figure like Aretha Franklin or even someone who is part of a community allows people to grieve together.

But generally, grieving someone closer to you can be more difficult.

A University of Alabama graduate student is seeking to determine if having a faith connection helps prevent people in mourning from falling into depression.

Danielle McDuffie says while there is already more general research that has been done on the issues she wants to focus on older African-Americans.

“There are studies on religious coping which is using different forms of religion to really cope with stresses in life including bereavement,” says McDuffie.

But she says few if any focus on African-American middle age adults. “I also believe it’s a touchy topic in terms of psychology because with a lot of psychologists it’s hard to broach the line between science and religion,” McDuffie adds.

But as can be the case with grieving itself, McDuffie has had trouble finding people to talk with for her study. Since launching the study several months ago only a couple of people have agreed to take part.

While acknowledging grief is a sensitive subject, McDuffie says struggling to find participants is “a little frustrating.”

People who are interested in the study can get more information at or (908)380-4662.

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