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October 2021

Suicide and religion in Ireland: An investigation of Thomas Masaryk's theory of suicide

Author(s): Chambers, D., Corcoran, P.

Journal/Book: Arch Suicide Res. 1999; 5: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 173-180.

Abstract: The Republic of Ireland, a monotheistic society, has experienced a significant increase in suicide at a time when religious practice has declined. This paper investigates Thomas Masaryk's theory of an inverse relationship between these two phenomena. Age-standardised suicide rates were calculated by gender, province and for urban and rural areas, and compared with the results of four religious surveys. The increase in suicide is solely among males whereas both genders have shown a decline in religious practice. Furthermore, the areas that have experienced the least fall-off in religious practice have had the sharpest rise in suicide. These discrepancies suggest that the association between religious practice and suicide rates may not be as strong as Thomas Masaryk believed.

Note: Editorial Chambers D, Natl Suicide Res Fdn, 1 Perrott Ave, Coll Rd, Cork, IRELAND

Keyword(s): Ireland; Masaryk; religion; suicide


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