The Relationship of Personality Traits, Religiosity, and Suicidal Ideation among Protestants in Hong Kong

April 10, 2018

Dr. Ng Ching Wah Vivian
Department of Pastoral Counselling
Bethel Bible Seminary
Hong Kong


The number of suicide cases has been rapidly increasing nowadays. In order to identify the risk and protective factors for suicide, much literature supports that personality and religiousness are the key elements associating with suicide. Nevertheless, Protestantism is found to be a high risk religious group for suicide in some Western studies. In Hong Kong, little research has been done to explore the correlation between congregants’ characters and suicide particularly in the high risk religious group. The objective of this study is to assess the association between personality traits, religiosity, and suicidal ideation among Protestants in Hong Kong. Participants were 213 Protestants coming from 11 denominations, who were mainly Christian and Missionary Alliance, Salvation Army, Baptists, Lutherans, and so forth. Respondents completed self-report measures of personality, suicidal ideation, and religiosity through paper or online questionnaires. The results showed that psychoticism and neuroticism were positively correlated with suicidal ideation, while the intrinsic orientation was negatively related. Among these three variables, only neuroticism and intrinsic orientation could significantly predict participants’ suicidal ideation in a multiple regression analysis. However, intrinsic religiosity did not moderate the relationship between neuroticism and suicidal thoughts. Also, there is no gender difference of suicidal ideation in the high socioeconomic level of Protestantism in the study. In order to maintain individual mental health and well-being, increasing the level of intrinsic religiousness and decreasing believers’ neuroticism in lives should be taken into account for developing suicide prevention strategies in religious activities.

Personality traits, suicidal ideation, intrinsic religiosity, neuroticism, Protestants in Hong Kong

The Relationship of Personality Traits, Religiosity, and Suicidal Ideation among Protestants in Hong Kong (PDF)