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Female labor force participation and suicide


  • Burr, Jeffrey A.
  • McCall, Patricia L.
  • Powell-Griner, Eve


To test the role conflict and role enhancement hypotheses, this paper examines the link between female labor force participation and suicide. Using a special tabulation of age/sex-specific suicide data for metropolitan areas in the United States, we estimate separate multivariate regression models for women and men in 1970 and 1980. Our findings show that in 1970 the level of female labor force participation among married women with small children is not related to the female suicide rate but is related to the male suicide rate in a positive direction. By 1980 the relationship between female labor force participation and the male and female suicide rate is negative, suggesting that the well-being of both men and women is enhanced by role accumulation among women.

Suggested Citation

  • Burr, Jeffrey A. & McCall, Patricia L. & Powell-Griner, Eve, 1997. "Female labor force participation and suicide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(12), pages 1847-1859, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:44:y:1997:i:12:p:1847-1859

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    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:195:y:2017:i:c:p:61-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Markowitz, Sara & Cuellar, Alison, 2007. "Antidepressants and youth: Healing or harmful?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(10), pages 2138-2151, May.
    3. Chen, Ping-Yu & Chang, Chia-Lin & Chen, Chi-Chung, 2010. "Estimating the Impacts of Climate Change on Mortality in OECD Countries," MPRA Paper 27915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Phillips, Julie A. & Nugent, Colleen N., 2014. "Suicide and the Great Recession of 2007–2009: The role of economic factors in the 50 U.S. states," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 22-31.


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