PMID: 6382623Jan 1, 1984Paper

Unemployment and suicidal behaviour: a review of the literature

Social Science & Medicine
S Platt

Abstract

In order to provide a framework for reviewing the voluminous literature on unemployment and suicidal behaviour, the author distinguishes between two categories of deliberately self-harmful act: those with fatal outcome (suicide) and those with non-fatal outcome (parasuicide); and differentiates four major types of quantitative research report: individual--cross-sectional; aggregate--cross-sectional; individual--longitudinal; and aggregate--longitudinal. Methodological issues and empirical research findings are discussed separately for each type of study and each category of deliberate self-harm. Cross-sectional individual studies reveal that significantly more parasuicides and suicides are unemployed than would be expected among general population samples. Likewise, parasuicide and suicide rates among the unemployed are always considerably higher than among the employed. Aggregate--cross-sectional studies provide no evidence of a consistent relationship between unemployment and completed suicide, but a significant geographical association between unemployment and parasuicide was found. Results from all but one of the individual longitudinal studies point to significantly more unemployment, job instability and occupational probl...Continue Reading

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