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Childhood Social Exclusion and Suicidal Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101508ISBN: 978-91-7447-870-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-101508DiVA: diva2:705901
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
List of papers
1. Early life circumstances and male suicide - A 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Early life circumstances and male suicide - A 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953
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
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34764 (URN)doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.026 (DOI)000274321500011 ()
Available from: 2010-01-12 Created: 2010-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Self-directed and interpersonal male violence in adolescence and young adulthood: a 30-year follow up of a Stockholm cohort
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-directed and interpersonal male violence in adolescence and young adulthood: a 30-year follow up of a Stockholm cohort
2012 (English)In: Sociology of Health and Illness, ISSN 0141-9889, E-ISSN 1467-9566, Vol. 34, no 1, 16-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In line with Wilkinson's theory on inequality and health, this study simultaneously analyses self-directed and interpersonal violence among men in a Stockholm birth cohort born in 1953 with respect to their early life experiences of stress, their lack of social connectedness and their relative deprivation. Multinomial logistic regressions with cluster-robust variance estimates were used. Self-directed violence was found to be related to self-rated loneliness and non-membership of voluntary associations but not to a lack of friendship in school at the age of 12–13, while the opposite was shown to be true for interpersonal violence. Growing up in a family that received means-tested social assistance at least once during the period 1953–1965 was taken as an objective indicator of relative deprivation and proved to be correlated with both self-directed and interpersonal violence. Disadvantaged social comparison at the age of 12–13, taken as a subjective indicator of relative deprivation, was only statistically related to a subsequent risk of interpersonal violence. It is suggested that different types of social connectedness and relative deprivation, respectively, explain these different patterns of violence. Furthermore, the study speculates on the possibility of frequent social comparison itself being a factor to consider when trying understanding violence in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2012
Keyword
male violence; social connectedness; relative deprivation; social comparison; Wilkinson
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71903 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01359.x (DOI)000299373500002 ()
Note
1Available from: 2012-01-31 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. School performance and gender differences in suicidal behaviour - a 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953
Open this publication in new window or tab >>School performance and gender differences in suicidal behaviour - a 30-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953
2013 (English)In: Gender and Education, ISSN 0954-0253, E-ISSN 1360-0516, Vol. 25, no 5, 578-594 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Astonishingly little is known about the relationship between high educational achievements and suicidal behaviour among women. This is remarkable given that a woman breaking into traditionally male-dominant spheres is a well established example of social-role marginality. The current study combines fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour and analyses, by means of logistic regression, the degree to which high school performance during pre-adolescence in the mid-1960s, in Sweden, had a detrimental effect on suicidal behaviour for women, as opposed to men, in adolescence and young adulthood. The Stockholm birth cohort study was used for this purpose. The results show that girls with both above and below average marks had an elevated risk of engaging in suicidal behaviour. 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.

Keyword
suicide, suicide attempt, gender constraints, school grades, family ambitions, Sweden
National Category
Sociology Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94046 (URN)10.1080/09540253.2013.797955 (DOI)000323472700004 ()
Note

AuthorCount:1;

Available from: 2013-09-25 Created: 2013-09-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Informal social capital in childhood and suicide among adolescent and young adult women: A cross-sectional analysis with 30 countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Informal social capital in childhood and suicide among adolescent and young adult women: A cross-sectional analysis with 30 countries
2014 (English)In: Women's Studies: International Forum, ISSN 0277-5395, E-ISSN 1879-243X, no 42, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study 2005/2006, and World Health Organization (WHO), this study examined the relationship between girls' informal social capital and female suicide rates in adolescence and young adulthood in 30 European and North American countries. Regression analyses using normal, robust and bias-corrected confidence intervals were used for this purpose. Informal social capital (involvement with friends after school) among 15 year-old girls explained,9% of the total variation in the young female suicide rate. This effect was of approximately the same magnitude as that of the corresponding male suicide rate. Although the findings of this study provide support for the common notion that female suicide can be understood in relation to male suicide, the association we observed between female informal social capital in adolescence and early adult female suicide highlights the need for more female-specific studies on suicide.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100636 (URN)10.1016/j.wsif.2013.10.009 (DOI)000331507200001 ()
Available from: 2014-02-10 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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