Year: 2009 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.39, no.2, (April 2009), p.161-171 SIEC No: 20090358

The high rates of suicide among older men are cause for concern, and have prompted the investigation of factors that might explain these elevated rates. The current research examined whether the gender role construct agency was associated with depression and suicidal ideation among older adults. The results, based on self-report data from a sample of older Australian men (n = 69) and women (n = 90), indicated that depression mediated the relation between agency and suicidal ideation. In addition, for older men only, agency moderated the depression-suicidal ideation relation. The results suggest that older adults, and particularly men, with low levels of agency should be the targets for interventions aimed at increasing levels of agency and improving mental health.