Religiosity and Self-Destruction
Measures of religiosity and suicide acceptance were administered to a college student population to corroborate previous findings indicating an inverse relationship between these two variables. To explore this relationship further, a videotape, played for all volunteers, presented an “expert” who advised the “acceptance” of the suicidal person’s feelings. The expert was introduced in one of three ways: as a psychologist, as a minister, and as both a psychologist and minister. Previous findings concerning religiosity and suicide acceptance were replicated. When the suicide acceptance measure was readministered to all volunteers, it was found that those who had viewed the videotape under the “psychologist” and “psychologist/minister” conditions became significantly more accepting of suicide than they had previously been. It was also found that those who had seen the tape under the “minister” only condition became significantly less accepting of suicide than they had previously been. Implications for professional and pastoral counseling are discussed.
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