Impact of Religiosity, Africentric Values and Psychological Distress on Adolescent Suicidal Ideation in Ghana

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DOI: 10.21522.TIJPY.2016.02.02.Art002

Authors : Foster S. Nanewortor


Suicide is a major public health issue in many countries across the globe and Ghana is no exception. As many Western countries have copious amount of research that have help in shedding more light on the phenomenon, very little research on the psychological aspect of suicide has been done in Ghana and other African countries. In order to contribute to the understanding of suicide in Ghana, this research investigated the impact of psychological distress, religiosity and Africentric values/Afrocentrism on adolescent suicidal ideation. Three hundred and eighty-three (383) senior high students between the ages of 13 and 19 years were recruited. The participants completed standardized survey instruments which measured religiosity, psychological distress, Afrocentrism and suicidal ideation. The results showed that higher levels of psychological distress were significantly associated with stronger suicidal ideation. However, this relationship was weakened by the moderation role of the interaction between Afrocentrism and religiosity. It was also discovered that religiosity and Afrocentrism significantly predicted adolescent suicidal ideation. Significant gender differences were established on suicidal ideation. Adolescents who reside in rural areas scored higher on suicidal ideation and psychological distress compared to urban residents. There were no rural-urban differences in adolescents’ religiosity and Afrocentrism. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings were discussed.

Keywords: Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, Adolescent, Psychological Distress, Religiosity. Africentric/Afrocentric Values.


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