Exploring prospective predictors of completed suicides: Evidence from the general social survey
Feigelman, W., Rosen, Z., & Gorman, B.S.
Background: This study was based on over 30,000 respondents who completed General Social Surveys between 1978 and 2002. Aims: We approached these respondents prospectively, comparing and contrasting the responses of those who subsequently died by suicide (N = 141) with those who died from all other causes (N = 9,115). Method: We employed chi-square and logistic regression analyses of important demographic confounders to test for statistically significant differences between suicide decedents and all other decedents. Results: Suicide decedents died on average 2 years sooner than all other decedents. When covariates of age and gender were applied, suicide decedents exhibited greater acceptance of suicide for dealing with various adverse life circumstances, were more likely to have been the gun owners in their households, lived in regions where gun ownership was more commonplace, and held less strong religious beliefs and less of a belief of an afterlife. Conclusion: The observed affinity between attitudes of suicide acceptability and completed suicide suggests a potential for creating a meaningful assessment tool to identify those positioned at the extreme end of the suicide risk continuum.