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Seasonality in suicide - A review and search of new concepts for explaining the heterogeneous phenomena


  • Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta
  • Bopp, Matthias
  • Ring, Mariann
  • Gutzwiller, Felix
  • Rossler, Wulf


Seasonality is one of the oldest and most resistant-to-elucidation issues in suicide research. However, in recent years epidemiological research has yielded new results, which provide new perspectives on the matter. This qualitative review summarizes research published since the 1990s. In particular, the focus is on studies dealing with the historical change of seasonality, cross-sectional comparisons including method-specific diversity, and the association with weather variables and other putative covariates. Recent research has shown that in Western countries the seasonality of suicide is tending to diminish and may, eventually, disappear. It can no longer be considered a universal and homogeneous phenomenon. In addition, different major seasonal cycles have now been determined which mainly depend on different suicide methods. Just as in the epidemiology of suicide methods, the (seasonal) availability and perceived adequacy of methods emerge as the major driving force beyond the seasonal phenomena in suicide.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:4:p:657-666

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Massing, Walter & Angermeyer, Matthias C., 1985. "The monthly and weekly distribution of suicide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 433-441, January.
    2. Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta & Wang, Jen & Bopp, Matthias & Eich, Dominique & Rössler, Wulf & Gutzwiller, Felix, 2003. "Are seasonalities in suicide dependent on suicide methods? A reappraisal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 1173-1181, October.
    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Magnone, Edoardo, 2013. "A scientometric look at calendar events," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 101-108.


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