Unaffiliated is a term used to refer to individuals who are not aligned with a particular religion. According to the Pew Research Center, this group includes atheists and agnostics. However, not all individuals who are unaffiliated are irreligious, although the association between the two terms is increasing.
The “Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.” study found that more than 16 percent of all Americans were unaffiliated.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, "religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation." Moreover, individuals with no religious affiliation had fewer moral objections to suicide than believers.
- Tom Flynn; Richard Dawkins. The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Prometheus Books. Retrieved on 13 November 2010. “With respect to understanding the irreligious, however, the relevance of data on apostates depends upon the orientation they have adopted by the time they are studied (such as unaffiliated religious belief, no stated religious)”
- Unaffiliated. Pew Research Center. Retrieved on 2010-12-02. “Pew Forum publications—including public opinion polls, demographic reports, research studies, event transcripts and interviews—about people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion. This group includes atheists, agnostics and people who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.””
- Religion in the Contemporary South: Changes, Continuities, and Contexts. University of Tennessee Press. Retrieved on 2010-12-02. “Unaffiliated persons are not necessarily hostile to religion or even irreligious. Yet, as the proportion of unaffiliated persons grows, it will be increasingly difficult to assume that there is a religious base, such as Reed's orthodox Protestant consensus, supporting southern culture.”
- Robert Marus. Study: Ranks of religiously unaffiliated remain open to faith. Associated Baptist Press. Retrieved on 13 November 2010. “The “Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.” study involved in-depth interviews with more than 2,800 people who had responded to the earlier “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," which found that more than 16 percent of all Americans were not affiliated with any particular religious group.”
- Michael Martin. Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt. American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved on 13 November 2010. “Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder.”