Characteristics of Chinese suicide attempters: an emergency room study

Death Stud. 2006 Apr;30(3):259-68. doi: 10.1080/07481180500493443.


Studying the characteristics of attempted suicide is helpful in knowing the background of some completed suicides and improving prevention or intervention strategies. This current study analyzed data of 74 suicide attempters and 92 accident injured patients admitted to 6 hospital emergency rooms in an area of Northeastern China and found both similarities and differences between Chinese and Western suicide attempters. The data show that more women than men attempted suicide. Perhaps because of the unavailability of firearms to Chinese civilians, pesticide was the most lethal means of suicidal behavior. The stressful life events that account for the majority of suicidal incidents were mostly familial or marital problems. Compared with accident victims, these Chinese suicide attempters were younger, poorer, more likely to believe in a religion/superstition, more likely to perceive gender inequality, and less likely to experience support from either family or community. The traditional culture downplaying the status of women coupled with a belief in the transmigration of life may play an important role in the suicide of Chinese young women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide / ethnology*
  • Suicide / psychology