'Give Me a Reason to Live!' Examining Reasons for Living Across Levels of Suicidality

J Relig Health. 2015 Dec;54(6):2005-19. doi: 10.1007/s10943-014-9893-4.


Scholarly research focusing on social psychological factors (e.g. mental health) and social environmental factors (e.g. childhood trauma) has found these measures to be correlated with suicidality. However, such literature has tended to overlook what may impact one's reasons for living. Using a sample of over 1,200 students from a Canadian university, the goal of the current study is to empirically test, by employing multivariate nested regression models (by levels of suicidal behaviour), known and relative unknown correlates with reasons for living, with a particular focus on strength of religious faith, which is a well-known predictor for suicidality, but less studied as a reason for living. Results show that, among students with serious suicidal ideation and/or a previous suicide attempt, the strongest predictor for student's reasons for living was strength of religious faith. Strength of religious faith has seldom been acknowledged or identified as an important measure in assessing one's reasons to live. These findings have implications for the role of religiosity among suicidality research, especially studies that focus on reasons for living.

Keywords: Childhood trauma; MHI-5; Reasons for living inventory for young adults (RFL-YA); Strength of religious faith; Suicidality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult