Study: Children With Religious Parents Less Likely to Commit Suicide

Having religious parents significantly decreases the risk of children having or acting upon suicidal thoughts according to a recently published study from JAMA Psychiatry.

The study, titled Association of Parent and Offspring Religiosity With Offspring Suicide Ideation and Attempts, showed that having religious parents was associated with an 80 percent decrease in risk of those parents’ children having suicidal thoughts and behavior. The decrease in risk of suicidal behavior was observed in children with religious parents regardless of whether or not the children themselves adhered to religious belief and practice.

“We found that a parent’s belief in the high importance of religion was associated with an approximately 80% decrease in risk in suicidal thoughts and behaviors in their children compared with parents who reported religion as unimportant,” study authors Connie Svob and Priya Wickramaratne of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute told PsyPost.

“This finding was independent of a child’s own belief (or lack of belief) in the importance of religion and independent of other potent parental risk factors (e.g., parental depression, history or suicidal behavior, divorce),” they added.

The researchers noted that parents’ religious beliefs were a better predictor of whether or not their children would display suicidal behavior than was the parents’ religious service attendance. The study authors proposed that this finding suggests that religious teaching in the home has more of an association with decreased risk of suicide than does consistent service attendance. (Read more from “Study: Children With Religious Parents Less Likely to Commit Suicide” HERE)

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