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The Association Between Adolescent Suicide Rates and Socioeconomic …

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Jaen-Varas, Denisse, Mari, Jair J., Asevedo, Elson, Borschmann, Rohan, Diniz, Elton, Ziebold, Carolina, & Gadelha, Ary. (2019). The association between adolescent suicide rates and socioeconomic indicators in Brazil: a 10-year retrospective ecological study. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 41(5), 389-395. Epub February 18, 2019.https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2018-0223

To examine suicide rates among adolescents from six large cities in Brazil and to analyze the relationship between adolescent suicide rates and socioeconomic indicators between 2006 and 2015.

Generalized estimating equation models were used to assess the impact of socioeconomic factors – including social inequality and unemployment rates – on adolescent suicide rates.

The rate of adolescent suicide increased by 24% over the course of the study period. Social inequality (assessed using the Gini index), was positively associated with overall adolescent suicide rates (β = 10.68; 95%CI = 2.32-19.05; p ≤ 0.012). After disaggregating the findings by age (10-14 and 15-19 years), social inequality was associated with suicide rate only for adolescents aged 15-19 years (β = 9.63; 95%CI = 2.31-16.96; p ≤ 0.005). Disaggregating these findings by sex, the association with economic variables became significant only among females. Males had a higher overall suicide rate than females, and the highest rate was observed in male adolescents aged 15-19 years. Higher levels of unemployment were associated with higher suicide rates.

Our findings suggest that socioeconomic indicators, particularly unemployment and social inequality, are relevant social determinants of suicide in adolescence.

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