Cohort variations and changes in age-specific suicide rates over time: explaining variations in youth suicide.
Stockard, J.~~O'Brien, R.
Dramatic changes in the age distribution of suicide in the U.S. are associated with variations in the demographic characteristics of birth cohorts. Using an age-period-cohort-characteristic model, we show that cohort characteristics theoretically linked to integration and regulation have substantively strong and statistically significant relationships with changes in age-specific suicide rates from 1930 to 1995. Members of relatively large cohorts and of cohorts with higher percentages of nonmarital births are at greater risk for suicide throughout their life spans. These results appear for the total population and for race-sex subgroups, even though the age distributions of suicide differ substantially across these demographic groups. They can account for recent sharp increases in youth suicide, as well as more moderate increases in earlier decades.