Dimensions of religion associated with suicide attempt and suicidal ideation in depressed, religiously affiliated patients

Matthias Jongkind*, Bart van den Brink, Hanneke Schaap-Jonker, Nathan van der Velde, Arjan W. Braam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is substantial evidence to support the claim that religion can protect against suicide ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicide. There is also evidence that religion does not always protect against suicidality. More insight is needed into the relationship between suicidal parameters and dimensions of religion. A total of 155 in- and outpatients with major depression from a Christian Mental Health Care institution were included. The following religious factors were assessed: religious service attendance, frequency of prayer, religious salience, type of God representation, and moral objections to suicide (MOS). Multiple regression analyses were computed. MOS have a unique and prominent (negative) association with suicide ideation and the lifetime history of suicide attempts, even after controlling for demographic features and severity of depression. The type of God representation is an independent statistical predictor of the severity of suicide ideation. A positive-supportive God representation is negatively correlated with suicide ideation. A passive-distressing God representation has a positive correlation with suicide ideation. High MOS and a positive-supportive God representation in Christian patients with depression are negatively correlated with suicide ideation. Both are likely to be important markers for assessment and further development of therapeutic strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-519
Number of pages15
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • religion
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • suicide
  • depression


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