Gender and age differences in suicide mortality in the context of violent death: Findings from a multi-state population-based surveillance system.
Bozzay, M., Liu, R., & Kleiman, E.
Males are more likely than females to die by all forms of violent death, including suicide. The primary purpose of the present study was to explore whether the gender difference in suicide rates is largely accounted for by males’ general greater tendency to experience violent deaths. The current study examined gender and age differences in suicides and other violent deaths, using data from a population-based surveillance system.
Pearson’s chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted with data for 32,107 decedents in the 2003–2005 National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Decedents were categorized by gender, age, and death by suicide versus other violent means.
When suicides were examined in the greater context of violent death, the total proportion of violent deaths due to suicide did not differ across gender. When deaths were examined by age group, after controlling for ethnicity, marital status, and U.S. location in which the death occurred, males in early to mid childhood were significantly more likely than same-aged females to die by suicide relative to all other violent deaths. The portion of deaths due to suicide was for the most part equal across both genders in late childhood, young adulthood, and mid-adulthood. Older males were more likely than older females to die by suicide relative to other violent deaths.
Our findings suggest that that the risk of dying by suicide relative to other violent deaths may be more pronounced at certain developmental stages for each gender. This knowledge may be valuable in tailoring prevention strategies.