Occupational status and suicide

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Winter 1984;14(4):254-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278x.1984.tb00680.x.


The relationship between occupational status and suicide was examined using data from Sacramento County, California. Data were obtained from coroner's records filed routinely on all cases of sudden, violent, or unexpected death since 1925. Occupation- and age-specific suicide rates were calculated for males and age-adjusted for overall comparison for the decades 1945-1954, 1955-1964, and 1965-1974. Findings show an inverse relationship between occupational status and suicide for all age groups over the past 30 years. Over time, male suicide rates have increased particularly for employed males over 65, employed males aged 14 to 24, and males in low-status occupations. General economic insecurity among workers of low socioeconomic status (SES), particularly the elderly, is suggested as a contributing factor to these trends.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • California
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations*
  • Social Class*
  • Suicide / epidemiology
  • Suicide / psychology*