Investigating the association between income inequality in youth and deaths of despair in Canada: A population-based cohort study from 2006 to 2019

Background: Deaths due to suicide, drug overdose and alcohol-related liver disease, collectively known as ‘deaths of despair’, have been markedly increasing since the early 2000s and are especially prominent in young Canadians. Income inequality has been linked to this rise in deaths of despair; however, this association has not yet been examined in a Canadian context, […]

Being certain that negative events will happen or that positive events will not happen: Depressive predictive certainty and change in suicide ideation over time

Introduction Relatively little research has examined the precise components of hopelessness that increase vulnerability to suicidal thinking. We examined whether certainty about an absence of positive future outcomes (Certainty-AP) would more strongly predict suicide ideation over time than certainty about negative future outcomes (Certainty-N). Method Young adults (N = 208), ages 18–34 (M = 19.08, SD = 2.22), with either recent suicide […]

An ecological study of temporal trends in ‘deaths of despair’ in England and Wales

Purpose There is growing interest in the concept of ‘deaths of despair’ (DoD)—defined as deaths from three causes: suicide, drug poisoning, and alcohol-related conditions—as a more comprehensive indicator of the impact of psychological distress on mortality. The purpose of this study is to investigate the degree of commonality in trends and geographic patterning of deaths […]

“Lives of despair” at risk for “deaths of despair”: Tracking an under‑recognized, vulnerable population

Purpose The substantial and unexpected increase in “deaths of despair” in the US (e.g., deaths from drug overdose, suicide, and alcohol-related liver diseases) reported by economists Case and Deaton in 2015 raises questions about the number and characteristics of US adults potentially living “lives of despair” with these problems. Methods We used data from the […]

Biblical versus Greek narratives for suicide prevention and life promotion: Releasing hope from Pandora’s urn

Although suicide has been unfortunately stigmatized unfairly through the ages, we should not make the mistake of going to the opposite extreme and valorizing it. We should not forget that the major role of health care professionals is to prevent suicide when possible and to invigorate the underlying life force in the person. Suicide is […]

Association of job expectations among high school students with early death during adulthood

Objective  To estimate the risks of suicide and drug poisoning deaths among adult men whose adolescent occupational expectations were not met in adulthood. Design, Setting, and Participants  This cohort study included a sample of men interviewed as part of the High School and Beyond study, a nationally representative study of US high school sophomores and seniors in […]

Suicide, overdose and worker exit in a cohort of Michigan autoworkers

Background In recent decades, suicide and fatal overdose rates have increased in the US, particularly for working-age adults with no college education. The coincident decline in manufacturing has limited stable employment options for this population. Erosion of the Michigan automobile industry provides a striking case study. Methods We used individual-level data from a retrospective cohort study of […]

Associations of despair with suicidality and substance misuse among young adults

IMPORTANCE Deaths of despair is a term that has recently been used to describe the increases in premature mortality from suicides, drug overdoses (particularly from opiates), and alcohol-related liver disease among US adults. Despite the use of the term despair, its role in these causes of premature death has not been empirically tested. OBJECTIVE To […]

Projected deaths of despair from COVID-19

More Americans could lose their lives to deaths of despair, deaths due to drug, alcohol, and suicide, if we do not do something immediately. Deaths of despair have been on the rise for the last decade, and in the context of COVID-19, deaths of despair should be seen as the epidemic within the pandemic. The […]

Long-term trends in deaths of despair

Anne Case and Angus Deaton famously chronicled a dramatic rise among middleaged non-Hispanic whites since 1999 in “deaths of despair”—deaths by suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning, and alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis.1 The Social Capital Project has extended Case and Deaton’s research to cover the full American population as far back as available data permit: […]

‘Dead people don’t claim’: A psychopolitical autopsy of UK austerity suicides

One of the symptoms of post financial crisis austerity in the UK has been an increase in the numbers of suicides, especially by people who have experienced welfare reform. This article develops and utilises an analytic framework of psychopolitical autopsy to explore media coverage of ‘austerity suicide’ and to take seriously the psychic life of […]

Can economic policies reduce deaths of despair?

Midlife mortality has risen steadily in the U.S. since the 1990s for non-Hispanic whites without a bachelor’s degree, and since 2013 for Hispanics and African-Americans who lack a bachelor’s degree. These increases largely reflect increased mortality from alcohol poisoning, drug overdose and suicide. We investigate whether these “deaths of despair” trends have been mitigated by […]

Life weariness and suicidal thoughts in late life: A national study in Sweden

Objectives: This study aimed at investigating the point prevalence of life weariness and suicidal thoughts and their relationship with socio-demographic characteristics in a population of older adults in Sweden. Method: Data from 7913 individuals aged 60 years and older were drawn from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care, a collaborative study in Sweden. Life weariness and […]

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century: Conference version.

We build on and extend the findings in Case and Deaton (2015a) on increases in mortality and morbidity among white non-Hispanic Americans in midlife since the turn of the century. Increases in all-cause mortality continued unabated to 2015, with additional increases in drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholic-related liver mortality, particularly among those with a high-school […]

Self-rated depression severity relative to clinician-rated depression severity: Trait stability and potential role in familial transmission of suicidal behavior.

Journal copy held in CSP Library.

The three-step theory (3ST): A new theory of suicide rooted in the “ideation-to-action” framework.

The present article introduces a specific theory of suicide rooted in the ideation-to-action framework: the Three-Step Theory (3ST). First, the theory hypothesizes that suicide ideation results from the combination of pain (usually psychological pain) and hopelessness. Second, among those experiencing both pain and hopelessness, connectedness is a key protective factor against escalating ideation. Third, the […]

Sleepless in Fairfax: The difference one more hour of sleep can make for teen hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and substance use.


A test of the interpersonal theory of suicide in a large community-based cohort.

Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicide ( 26 and 11) predicts that suicide ideation is strongest in those experiencing both high perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, and that the combination of suicide ideation and acquired capability for suicide is critical in the development of suicide plans and attempts. However, few datasets exist which allow the examination […]

Mediators of the daily hassles-suicidal ideation link in African American women.

As hypothesized, daily hassles, depressive symptoms, and hopelessness were each significantly and positively associated with suicidal ideation. Moreover, the relation between daily hassles and suicidal ideation was, in part, accounted for by depressive symptoms and hopelessness. This study demonstrates the importance of assessing for the presence of these risk factors when determining the likelihood that […]

Temperament, hopelessness, and attempted suicide: Direct and indirect effects.


Rumination and hopelessness as mediators of the relation between perceived emotion dysregulation and suicidal ideation.

The present study examined whether particular emotion dysregulation dimensions were associated with suicidal ideation through their effects on ruminative thinking and hopelessness. Rumination and hopelessness mediated the relation between Strategies and ideation, even when adjusting for depressive symptoms. Perceived inability to access emotion regulation strategies may increase vulnerability to suicidal ideation through its effects on […]

The link between suicide and insomnia: Theoretical mechanisms.

Insomnia has been established as a risk factor for depression and mental illness for decades, but a growing body of evidence has recently exposed insomnia to be an independent risk factor for suicide that encompasses all age ranges. This discovery has invigorated investigation to elucidate the relationship between insomnia and suicide, and over 20 studies […]

A model of suicidal behavior in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The mediating role of defeat and entrapment.

The aim of this study was to examine whether depression, hopelessness and perceptions of defeat and entrapment mediated the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on suicidal behavior. The results support a recent theoretical model of suicide (The Schematic Appraisal Model of Suicide) which argues that perceptions of defeat and entrapment have a key […]