CMH Seminar: 14 May – Does religiousness prevent suicide?

Monday May 14 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Seminar Room 410 – Level 4, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton

Presenter: Prof Steven Stack (USA)

This talk is built around two interrelated studies conducted in the USA and Europe, which examined the impact of religiousness on suicide.

STUDY 1 is the first study to explore the gendered association of religiousness and suicide at the individual level, using psychological autopsy data on 16,795 deaths, including 1,385 suicides in the USA. Study findings indicate that religiousness provides equal protection for both men and women in relation to suicide. With most previous work based in the USA, a nation relatively low in secularization, it remains unclear if religiousness prevents suicides in secularized regions of the world, such as Europe.

STUDY 2 therefore moved on to use ecological data for 162 regions in more secularized societies, 22 nations in Europe. In both studies religiousness was found to act as a protective factor against suicide.

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