Socio-economic determinants of suicide: an ecological analysis of 35 countries

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Title Socio-economic determinants of suicide: an ecological analysis of 35 countries
Author Milner, Allison Joy; McClure, Rod; De Leo, Diego
Journal Name Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Year Published 2012
Place of publication Germany
Publisher Springer
Abstract Abstract PURPOSE: A long tradition of research has shown a relationship between suicide rates and socio-economic factors. However, most investigations have neglected to account for country-specific influences. The purpose of this study was to clarify the association between socio-economic variables and gender-specific suicide rates in 35 countries, using analytic techniques able to control for effects embedded within different country contexts. METHOD: Data relating to male and female age-standardised suicide rates (obtained from the WHO Statistical Information System) were analysed using fixed-effect regression. The possible associations between suicide rates and social variables were tested using data for 35 countries over the period 1980-2006. RESULTS: Findings indicated that higher male and female suicide rates were associated with increased female labour force participation, unemployment, and the proportion of persons over 65 years. Reductions in male and female suicide rates were associated with increased health spending per capita. The study also revealed that higher fertility was associated with a reduction in male suicide. Female labour force participation had a stronger effect on male suicide rates. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that variables related to the labour market and the economy were better explanatory factors of suicide rates than population-level indicators of interpersonal relationships. Although results were generally similar for males and females, males appeared to be more sensitive to changes in the social environment than women.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-010-0316-x
Volume 47
Issue Number 1
Page from 19
Page to 27
ISSN 1433-9285
Date Accessioned 2011-02-02
Language en_US
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Mental Health; Public Health and Health Services
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/36911
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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