Year: 1999 Source: Psychological Reports, v.84, no.1, (February 1999), p.291-301 SIEC No: 19990520

Risk of suicide among elite artists was evaluated using data from GarzantiÕs Encyclopaedia. Artists were categorized as architects, painters, sculptors, writers, poets, & playwrights. Only deaths which occurred in the 1800s or 1900s were included. A total of 59 suicides were observed in the sample of 3,093 artists who died. The comparison by profession shows that ratios for poets & writers exceeded the mean suicide ratio of the sample. Results indicate that the suicide rate among artists is higher than the suicide rate for the general population. Risk factors for suicide, such as financial stress & manic depression, are discussed. (27 refs) (SC)