The Gender-Specific Associations Between Religion/Spirituality and Suicide Risk in a Sample of Austrian Psychiatric Inpatients

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Abstract

Most studies have found religion/spirituality to be protective against suicide risk, with a stronger effect among women. To understand this effect, theories of suicide and clinical samples are needed, but related studies are lacking. We applied two established suicide models in 753 psychiatric inpatients. Religion/spirituality correlated protectively with components of the suicide models, with stronger associations among women. The protective effect emerged especially for the capability aspect of suicide among men and for the motivational aspect among women, suggesting very different causal mechanisms, but this has to be replicated with longitudinal studies.

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