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Early life circumstances and male suicide - A 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2010 (English)In: Social Science and Medicine, ISSN 0277-9536, E-ISSN 1873-5347, Vol. 70, no 3, 420-427 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analyses the relationship between early life circumstances and suicide during adolescence and young adulthood among men in a Stockholm birth cohort born in 1953. Relevant variables were derived from Durkheim's proposition of social integration and suicide and Merton's strain theory of deviance. The links between our background variables and suicide were estimated with rare events logistic regression, a statistical method specially developed for situations in which rare events are endemic to the data. We found that self-rated loneliness at age 12–13 as an indicator of social isolation, school absenteeism at the same age as an indicator of school integration, and growing up in a family which received means-tested social assistance at least once during the period 1953–1965 as an indicator of childhood poverty, were statistically related to subsequent suicide risk between 1970 and 1984. Furthermore, following Bourdieu's rereading of Durkheim's Suicide, we argue that social isolation and school integration can be seen as important forms of deprivation, since “social integration” can also be understood in terms of “social recognition”. This view emphasises the importance of taking the emotional and social poverty of children just as seriously as their material poverty when it comes to suicide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2010. Vol. 70, no 3, 420-427 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34764DOI: doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.026ISI: 000274321500011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34764DiVA: diva2:285491
Available from: 2010-01-12 Created: 2010-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Childhood Social Exclusion and Suicidal Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childhood Social Exclusion and Suicidal Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis I analyze, with the help of social epidemiological theories, childhood risk factors behind suicidal behavior in adolescence and young adulthood. The data comes mainly from the Swedish “Stockholm Birth Cohort Study” (SBC) consisting of 15,117 participants. A total of four separate studies are included.

The first study is restricted to boys born in 1953. By analyzing data from different registers and questions from a survey conducted when they were 12-13 years old it is shown that those who spent most of their time alone, had been absent from school even though they were not ill or grew up in a family which received means-tested benefits at least once during their childhood had a higher risk of taking their own lives. The second study includes the same boys, but suicidal behavior is extended to also encompass suicide attempts and is analyzed in parallel with interpersonal violence. The results show that these different behaviors can be similarly explained by shortcomings in social bonds and relative deprivation during childhood. The third study, which focuses on women’s suicidality within the SBC, shows that girls with both above and below average marks in the sixth grade had a higher risk of engaging in suicidal behavior as adolescents or young adults. However, this relation only held for girls who had grown up with supportive parental ambitions in terms of educational commitment. For boys, only low school performance was shown to be suicidogenic, irrespective of parental ambitions. The fourth and final study is based on the international “Health Behavior in School-aged Children” study and information from international databases. Here it is shown that the suicide rate among 15-24 year old women in 30 European and North American countries at the end of the 2000s was inversely related to how many days a week 15 year old girls involved themselves with friends in 2005/2006.

The introductory chapter of the thesis begins with a short background to the theme of social exclusion and suicidality. This section is followed by a more detailed discussion of how the notion of social recognition that is found within the social exclusion literature, can help nuance our understanding of social isolation and suicidal behavior further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 56 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 90
Keyword
Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Social Isolation, Loneliness, Social Capital, Social Integration, Social Recognition, Poverty, Gender-role Constraints, Life-course, Inequality, Power, Injustice, Durkheim, Bourdieu
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101508 (URN)978-91-7447-870-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-16, hörsal 7, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-03-10 Last updated: 2014-04-15Bibliographically approved

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