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Religion and Suicide Acceptability: A Cross-National Analysis

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Four perspectives (moral community thesis, religious integration, religious commitment, and social networks) guide the selection of variables in this study. Data are from the combined World Values/European Values Surveys for 2000 (50,547 individuals nested in 56 nations). The results of a multivariate hierarchical linear model support all four perspectives. Persons residing in nations with relatively high levels of religiosity, who are affiliated with one of four major faiths, are religiously committed, and are engaged with a religious network are found to be lower in suicide acceptability. The religious integration perspective, in particular, is empirically supported; affiliation with Islam is associated with low suicide acceptability. The findings provide strong support for an integrated model and demonstrate the usefulness of the moral community thesis in understanding suicide acceptability.

Keywords: moral community thesis; networks; religiosity; religious commitment; religious integration; suicide

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Criminology Wayne State University 2: Department of Sociology University of California–Riverside

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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