Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Marnin Heisel


Abstract and Keywords

Suicide is a significant public health concern among older adults. Few researchers have previously investigated associations among religion, spirituality, and suicide ideation among older adults. Although previous studies have often demonstrated negative associations among these variables, findings are inconsistent. In the present study, we explored associations among religion, spirituality, and suicide ideation in 173 community-residing adults 65 years of age and older (M =73.8, SD = 6,10) recruited from malls, libraries, and local community events. Findings indicate significant associations among measures of religion and spirituality. Religious service attendance differentiated religion from spirituality. Spiritual transcendence was significantly negatively associated with suicide ideation, controlling for risk and resiliency factors. Our findings suggest that spirituality may confer resiliency to suicide ideation among older adults. Further research is needed investigating our findings in clinical samples, and investigating the role of spirituality and religion in interventions with at risk older adults.



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