Assessing legal strains and risk of suicide using archived court data.
Cook, T. & Davis, M.
Relatively little is known about legal entanglements and suicide risk. This matched caseÐcontrol study estimated the risk of suicide associated with legal strains using online court archives, a novel source of exposure data. Court records linked to suicide deaths (N = 315), controls (N = 630), and unintentional injury and poisoning deaths (N = 630) for an urban county from 2000 to 2005 revealed that nearly a third of suicide victims had recent court involvement, twice the proportion among controls. Misdemeanors, car accidents, and foreclosures were each associated with a threefold risk of suicide. Implications for suicide prevention and research are discussed.