Social capital and suicide in 11 European countries: an ecological analysis

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Title: Social capital and suicide in 11 European countries: an ecological analysis
Authors: Kelly, Brendan D.
Davoren, Mary
Ní Mhaoláin, Áine
Breen, Eugene G.
Casey, Patricia R.
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Date: Nov-2009
Abstract: Background: 'Social capital' refers to the existence of voluntary community networks and relationships based on trust, and the use of these networks and relationships to enable positive social action. Social capital is positively associated with selected indices of mental health. Methods: We performed an ecological investigation of the relationship between social trust (as one component of social capital) and national suicide rates in 11 European countries (n=22,227). Results: There was an inverse relationship between social trust and national suicide rates (i.e. the higher the social trust, the lower was the suicide rate), after controlling for gender, age, marriage rates, standardised income and reported sadness. Conclusions: Social capital may have a protective effect against suicide at the national level. Multi-level analysis, taking into account both group-level and individual-level variables, would help clarify this relationship further and guide appropriate interventions at both the group and individual levels.
Funding Details: European Science Foundation
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: D. Steinkopff-Verlag (Springer)
Journal: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume: 44
Issue: 11
Start page: 971
End page: 977
Copyright (published version): 2009 Springer
Keywords: SuicideSocial medicineCommunity networksSocial capitalHomeless personsHealthCohesion
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-009-0018-4
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Medicine Research Collection

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