The role of unemployment in parasuicide

Psychol Med. 1991 Feb;21(1):169-76. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700014756.


Sixty-four in-patient cases of deliberate non-fatal self-poisoning were compared for psychosocial problems in a case-control study with a similar number of individually matched community controls. A strongly significant association was found between unemployment and self-poisoning. Further analysis revealed no firm evidence to support the hypotheses that unemployment was causally related to self-poisoning in an indirect manner or that it increased the vulnerability of individuals who self-poison to other stressful life events and difficulties. It is concluded that a possible explanation is that some third factor independently increases the risk of both unemployment and self-poisoning, giving rise to a non-causal relationship between these last two variables.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Overdose / epidemiology
  • Drug Overdose / psychology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Unemployment / psychology*
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data