The relationship between religious affiliation and suicide established by Durkheim may not pertain in societies where suicide rates are highest at younger ages. This article attempts to study the relationship between different dimensions of religiosity – ideological, emotional, ritual, knowledge, and consequential - and. Suicide is one of the 20 leading causes of death worldwide. While the religion- suicide relationship is hotly contested among researchers, the.
It is responsible for overdeaths per year and ranks among the top three leading causes of death for 15—44 year olds [ 1 — 3 ]. In fact, as a response to this ongoing global burden, the World Health Organization WHO recently called for increased prioritization of suicide prevention in a report [ 34 ].
In order to inform efforts to tackle this tragic, yet preventable issue, many studies with most conducted in the U. However, whether the relationships between some of these evaluated factors and suicide is definitively positive or negative among all settings remains undecided. One such factor is religion, which has long been an established factor in the overall health of an individual [ 57 ], whether the working mechanism is through psychological stability, empowerment, social networking, particular religious rituals, lifestyle patterns, or other undiscovered factors [ 5 ].
The existence of a relationship specifically between suicide and religion has been well-documented in numerous reviews [ 5712 — 15 ]. Most studies reveal that increased religiosity protects against suicide [ 516 — 22 ], but other studies conducted in unique settings have also suggested an association with increased suicide [ 2324 ]. Additionally, suicide literature seems to comprise of more studies focusing on suicide attempts than those studying completed suicide as an outcome [ 25 — 31 ], and many other studies use methods that are subject to ecological fallacy [ 632 — 36 ].
Given the global prevalence of religious beliefs, the severe burden of suicide, and the relative dearth of literature on completed suicide, it becomes apparent to clarify the relationship between completed suicide and religion. Taken together, in light of recent evidence that suggests a positive relationship between religion and suicide as well as the urgent need to implement suicide prevention strategies, this meta-analysis attempts to clarify the relationship between religion and completed suicides among a variety of populations.
Searches were conducted using the Pubmed and Web of Science databases. The last term was included since studies that assess completed suicides may also include suicide attempts.
Religion as a risk factor for suicide attempt and suicide ideation among depressed patients
Two investigators AW and JW independently conducted the literature search on March 16th, according to the strategy above. Disagreements were resolved by discussion.Panel Discussion on Suicide with Sigmund Freud, Robin Williams and Erik Medhus
Additional articles were also solicited from an expert in the field. Effect of religion on suicide attempts in outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders compared with inpatients with non-psychotic disorders. Person factors associated with suicidal behavior among African American women and men.
Prospective prediction of suicide in a nationally representative sample: Religion and suicide risk in lesbian, gay and bisexual Austrians. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempt among adolescents in Western Jamaica: Suicidal behaviours in adolescents in Nova Scotia, Canada: Experience of low mood and suicidal behaviors among adolescents in Vietnam: The Journal of adolescent health: Reasons for staying alive when you are thinking of killing yourself: The role of moral objections to suicide in the assessment of suicidal patients.
Journal of Psychiatric Research. Suicide prevention program for at-risk groups: Factors associated with risk of suicide in patients with hemodialysis. Toward an integration of spirituality and religiousness into the psychosocial dimension of schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry. A longitudinal evaluation of religiosity and psychosocial determinants of suicidal behaviors among a population-based sample in the United States.
Journal of Affective Disorders.
Religion and Completed Suicide: a Meta-Analysis
Public and private domains of religiosity and adolescent health risk behaviors: Risk factors for suicidal behavior: Standardized Evaluation in Clinical Practice. American Psychiatric Publishing; Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Protective associations of importance of religion and frequency of service attendance with depression risk, suicidal behaviours and substance use in adolescents in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Longitudinal relationships of religious worship attendance and spirituality with major depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation and attempts: Spirituality, religion and suicidal behavior in a nationally representative sample. Explaining the relation between religiousness and reduced suicidal behaviors: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Exploring the relationship between religious service attendance, mental disorders, and suicidality among different ethnic groups: The relationship of religious involvement indicators and social support to current and past suicidality among depressed older adults.
Suicidality and its associated factors in cancer patients: International journal of psychiatry in medicine.
Suicidal behaviors in adolescents. Indian Journal of Pediatrics.
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Is religiosity a protective factor against attempted suicide: Recent suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a large-scale survey of the US Air Force: Clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts in patients with advanced cancer. Around 1, people were surveyed in each country. The study is one of the first to investigate the relationship between religion and suicide rates outside of industrialized Western nations.
The study generated some debate among scholars. Harold Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University, offered a different explanation for the surprising association between religious participation and higher suicide rates in East Asia.
On the other hand, Latin Americans have a much lower threshold for religious participation, Koenig added. Hsieh found that although religion is linked to lower suicide rates in Latin America, eastern Europe, northern Europe, and English-speaking countries, it is associated with higher suicide rates in East Asia, western Europe and southern Europe.
According to the study, evidence that religion protects against suicide is strongest in Latin America, where a one percent increase in religious participation is associated with 3 percent decrease in suicide rates.