Suicide, Unemployment & Gender Variations in the Western World 1974-1986

Authors: Pritchard, C.

Journal: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

Volume: 25

Pages: 73-80

ISSN: 0933-7954

DOI: 10.1007/BF00794985


The gender related suicide and unemployment rates for 1964–1986 from twenty-three Western countries were reviewed. A statistically significant correlation was found for both genders for the 1974–1986 period, which saw major rises in both suicide and unemployment in many Western nations. This was in contrast to a non-significant correlation for 1964–1973. As unemployment reached a critical level the statistical link with suicide became stronger. This suggests that unemployment is a contributing factor in increased suicide. Major gender changes occured, in particular rises in female suicide rates, though these were not uniform. Whilst the expected greater male/female ratio for suicide was confirmed, there were significant variations between countries, with the ratio widening particularly amongst anglophone nations. This indicated differential gender changes in patterns of suicide. The possibility of some lsquoprotectiversquo mechanism against suicide for women in anglo phone countries is discussed.

Source: Manual