Exploring the psychiatric and social risk factors contributing to suicidal behaviors in religious young adults

Sami Hamdan, Temima Peterseil-Yaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The religion-suicide relationship is complex, and evidence of the role of religion in suicidal behaviors is inconsistent. This cross-sectional study aims to explore suicidal ideation and attempts among Modern Orthodox Jews and to examine the risk factors for suicidality in the presence of religious practice and affiliation, help-seeking behaviors, and social support. 321 young adults aged 18 to 36 completed self-report questionnaires assessing religious commitment and perception of religion as important, suicidal risk, depression, somatic symptoms, alcohol misuse, social support, and help-seeking patterns. The past 12-month suicide ideation prevalence was 8.7%. 14% of the sample were at risk for suicide. Those at a higher risk for suicide were less involved in religious practices and perceived religion as less important. In addition, depressive symptoms and alcohol misuse at a younger age presented the highest correlation with suicidal risk. The high rate of suicidal ideation among Modern Orthodox young adults highlights their vulnerability in the face of a lack of social support and mental health resources. Due to the limitations inherent in a convenience sampling, i.e., limited generalizability, this study may represent an underestimation of a risk for suicide amongst Modern Orthodox adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112449
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Alcohol
  • Depression
  • Religion
  • Suicidal behaviors


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