Recent life events and suicide: A case-control study in Tallinn and Frankfurt
The purpose of this study was to analyze the differences in the disposition and frequency of recent life events preceding suicide in two cities with different socio-political backgrounds: Tallinn in Estonia and Frankfurt/Main in Germany. The information about 156 suicidents in Tallinn and 163 suicidents in Frankfurt was compiled using the psychological autopsy technique [Shneidman, E. S. (1981). The psychological autopsy. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 11, 325-340; Jacobs, D., & Klein-Benheim, M. (1995). The psychological autopsy: A useful tool for determining proximate causation in suicide cases. Bulletin of American Academy of Psychiatry Law, 23(2), 165-182]. General population controls were matched by age and sex. The occurrence of recent life events was similar among suicidents in Tallinn (81%) and Frankfurt (77%). However, in both sites only male suicides had higher risk of occurrence of any life event than controls (Tallinn: OR'=1.9; 95% CI=1.1-3.7; Frankfurt: OR'=2.0; 95% CI=1.0-4.1) and the mean number of life events was significantly higher among male suicidents in Tallinn in comparison with controls. This may indicate that males are more sensitive to the rapid changes in a society undergoing transition. It seems that it is not the number of life events, but rather their meaning and disposition that creates the risk of suicide. Family discord (weighted OR=4.5; 95% CI=2.5-8.1), loss of job (weighted OR=2.6; 95% CI=1.0-6.4) and financial deterioration (weighted OR=2.2; 95% CI=1.3-3.8) were more prevalent among suicides in Tallinn in comparison with those in Frankfurt. The most significant differences between suicides and controls were family discord, separation and loss of job in Tallinn and somatic illness in Frankfurt. These differences between the two societies, post-Soviet Estonia and Germany, could be explained by the different positions of Estonia and Germany on the survival/self-expression dimensions recorded by the World Value Survey. People in Estonia tend to emphasize economic and physical security above all other goals, and feel threatened by the changes taking place in society. In Germany, good health is considered a necessity for a consumer and self-expressive style of life, and poor health is perceived as a serious threat to the quality of life in a post-materialistic value system.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 62 (2006)
Issue (Month): 11 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
- Clark, David E. & Wildner, Manfred, 2000. "Violence and fear of violence in East and West Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 373-379, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:62:y:2006:i:11:p:2887-2896. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.