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Parents’ Spirituality or Religion Tied to Lower Suicide Risk in Kids

The feeling that religion or spirituality is important suggests “an inner strength,” said senior study author Myrna Weissman, a professor of epidemiology and psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a member of the scientific board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “It isn’t about how much time you spend at church, or which particular religion you are, it’s having an inner belief that gives you some kind of strength that manifests in your behavior. And it is independent of your children’s opinion of religion.” It was a finding that Weissman and her colleagues didn’t expect. “We were rather surprised,” she said. “And that’s why it took a long time for us to publish.”

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