A study has found that children of religious parents are less likely to attempt suicide.
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The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry journal, studied multiple generations of families at high and low risk for depression.
They found that children whose parents place a high importance on religion had an approximately 80 percent decrease in risk of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, compared with those children whose parents reported religion as unimportant.
This association was independent of the child's own belief in the importance of religion.
The correlation also didn't take into account other risk factors such as parental depression, suicidal behaviour by parents, and divorce.
Girls were less likely to attempt suicide if they too themselves placed high value on both belief and practice of religion. For boys, parental religiosity was more important to determine whether they would attempt suicide than their own.
Researchers Connie Svob, Priya J Wickramaratne, and Linda Reich studied 214 children from 112 nuclear families.
The sample was drawn from New Haven, Connecticut in the United States and therefore was limited to local religious dominations, largely Catholics and Protestants.
These children were all white, and the researchers said their findings may not necessarily translate to other racial and ethnic groups.
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- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
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