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The spring peak in suicides: A cross-national analysis


  • Chew, Kenneth S. Y.
  • McCleary, Richard


This study evaluates the relative influence of social vs bioclimatic factors on cross-national variation in the magnitude of spring suicide peaks. Time series and cross-sectional data for 28 countries are analyzed using bivariate plots and simple correlation. Suicide seasonality (both overall and specifically as manifest by the presence of a sizeable spring peak) is positively correlated with seasonality in other kinds of social activity (measured in this study by the proportion of national work forces engaged in agriculture). However, only populations in the temperate zone exhibit suicide seasonality, suggesting some contextual influence from geographical latitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Chew, Kenneth S. Y. & McCleary, Richard, 1995. "The spring peak in suicides: A cross-national analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 223-230, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:2:p:223-230

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    Cited by:

    1. Matt Williams & Stephen Hill & John Spicer, 2015. "Will climate change increase or decrease suicide rates? The differing effects of geographical, seasonal, and irregular variation in temperature on suicide incidence," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 130(4), pages 519-528, June.
    2. Bergen, Helen & Hawton, Keith, 2007. "Variation in deliberate self-harm around Christmas and New Year," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 855-867, September.
    3. Ferdi Botha, 2012. "The Economics Of Suicide In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(4), pages 526-552, December.
    4. Joe Chen & Yun Jeong Choi & Kohta Mori & Yasuyuki Sawada & Saki Sugano, 2012. "Socio‚ÄźEconomic Studies On Suicide: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 271-306, April.
    5. Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta & Bopp, Matthias & Ring, Mariann & Gutzwiller, Felix & Rossler, Wulf, 2010. "Seasonality in suicide - A review and search of new concepts for explaining the heterogeneous phenomena," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 657-666, August.


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