Adult Suicide Mortality in the United States: Marital Status, Family Size, Socioeconomic Status, and Differences by Sex

Denney, J.T.; Rogers, R.G.; Krueger, P.M.; Wadsworth, T.

Social Science Quarterly 90(5): 1167


ISSN/ISBN: 0038-4941
PMID: 20161640
DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2009.00652.x
Document Number: 287986
OBJECTIVE: This paper addresses the relationship between suicide mortality and family structure and socioeconomic status for U.S. adult men and women. METHODS: We use Cox proportional hazard models and individual level, prospective data from the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File (1986-2002) to examine adult suicide mortality. RESULTS: Larger families and employment are associated with lower risks of suicide for both men and women. Low levels of education or being divorced or separated, widowed, or never married are associated with increased risks of suicide among men, but not among women. CONCLUSIONS: We find important sex differences in the relationship between suicide mortality and marital status and education. Future suicide research should use both aggregate and individual level data and recognize important sex differences in the relationship between risk factors and suicide mortality-a central cause of preventable death in the United States.

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