Suicidal behavior and related variables

Suicidal behavior and related variables

Deaths from suicide exceed those recorded due to road accidents. Numerous studies are underway to detect and prevent suicidal behavior.

Suicidal behavior and related variables

Last update: February 19, 2022

Suicide is an increasingly frequent social and cultural phenomenon in the West, affecting a very high percentage of the population. The death rate caused by suicidal behavior is much higher than that recorded following road accidents.

As the numbers are alarming, studies and projects aimed at detecting and preventing suicidal behavior proliferate. In recent years, the reasons, internal and external, and the situations that can lead a person to develop suicidal ideas and put them into practice have been analyzed.

A study recently published in The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context analyzed socioeconomic variables linked to suicidal behavior. The conclusions provide very significant data on prevention and aid plans.

Many support the theory that the more there is talk of suicide in the media, the more people are encouraged to commit it. But the solution is not to ignore it. Detecting possible suicidal behaviors is the most effective way to prevent them in time. Therefore, all data that help identify risk factors for suicidal behavior must be considered.

A suicide study

socio-demographic variables related to suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and perpetrated suicide

The study is based on data published over a full decade, from 2005 to 2015, in Europe and North and South America. PsycINFO, Medline, Main Collection of Web of Science, Scopus and SciELO databases were used as sources.

In total, 5.222 documents were recovered, including 53 studies under review. The main aim of the study was to analyze the relationships between socio-demographic variables that appear to be most firmly linked to suicidal behavior and suicide mode. This study has provided very important results.

Socio-demographic variables

In terms of gender and age, suicide is more common among men, even if they are women commit more suicide attempts (not consummated). The theory linking attempted suicide with a desire to attract attention does not seem true, as survivors failed to do so, according to the study cited.

The female sex, therefore, seems to be more associated with suicidal thoughts, planning and suicide attempt, with a certain predominance of the first and third elements. Age also appears to be a factor to consider: more suicides occur among the elderly, but in this case the difference between the sexes is not significant.

Regarding the area of ​​residence, marital status and employment situation, the study shows results that leave little doubt. Rural areas have a greater tendency to suicidal behavior. Other related factors are a low level of education, a lack of stable romantic relationships and unemployment.

The most used methods in suicidal behavior

The analysis carried out shows that the most used method in suicidal behavior is death by hanging. Firearms, death from poisoning or overdose and jumping from varying heights follow in descending order.

Regarding the differentiation of the methodology according to sex, men mainly resort to hanging (over 50%) and firearms, the most used method in the United States.

Statistically, women tend to throw themselves from varying heights; this method is chosen by almost 40% of the female population. Drug poisoning is more common among women than men.

Other Variables at Play in Suicidal Behavior

The study provides very important information on some variables that can be taken into consideration in terms of prevention policies. This does not mean that all people within these variables are at risk for suicidal behavior. On many occasions, major depressive symptoms and other psychological disturbances also occur.

Despite this, many suicide attempts and committed suicides, as well as many suicidal ideas, occur in the absence of a previous pathological picture. It is therefore important to accept these variables in the spectrum of risk factors for suicidal behavior.

This is undoubtedly information necessary to tackle a very current problem and which reveals a reality that we certainly cannot ignore.

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