Religion and spirituality along the pathway to suicide

Colucci, E. and Martin, G. (2008) Religion and spirituality along the pathway to suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 38 2: 229-244. doi:10.1521/suli.2008.38.2.229

Author Colucci, E.
Martin, G.
Title Religion and spirituality along the pathway to suicide
Journal name Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0363-0234
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1521/suli.2008.38.2.229
Open Access Status
Volume 38
Issue 2
Start page 229
End page 244
Total pages 16
Editor Silverman, M.
Place of publication United States
Publisher Guilford Publications
Language eng
Subject C1
110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
920410 Mental Health
950404 Religion and Society
Abstract The inner experience of spiritual and religious feelings is an integral part of the everyday lives of many individuals. For over 100 years the role of religion as a deterrent to suicidal behavior has been studied in various disciplines. We attempt to systematize the existing literature investigating the relationship between religion/spirituality and suicide in this paper. After an overview of the attitudes of the dominant religions (e.g., Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism) toward suicide, the three main theories that have speculated regarding the link between religion and suicide are presented: “integration theory” (Durkheim, 1897/1997), “religious commitment theory” (Stack, 1983a; Stark, 1983), and “network theory” (Pescosolido & Georgianna, 1989). Subsequent to this theoretical introduction, we report on studies on religion/spirituality keeping the suicidal path as a reference: from suicidal ideation to nonlethal suicidal behavior to lethal suicidal behavior. Studies presenting indications of religious beliefs as a possible risk factor for suicidal behavior are also presented. The last section reviews possible intervention strategies for suicidal patients and suicide survivors. Indications for future research, such as more studies on nonreligious forms of spirituality and the use of qualitative methodology to achieve a better and deeper understanding of the spiritual dimension of suicidal behavior and treatment, are offered.
Keyword Psychiatry
Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 68 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 75 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2009, 01:48:42 EST by Sheila Cleary on behalf of Psychiatry - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital