Attempted suicide and immigration in Perth, Western Australia, 1969-1978

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1983 Aug;68(2):89-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1983.tb06986.x.


Rates and methods of attempted suicide during 1969-1978 of migrants in Perth, Western Australia, were compared with native born Australians. There was a 4.6-fold male and a 2.8-fold female differential rate for migrants from individual countries of birth - significantly higher rates in migrants from New Zealand and Scotland (men) and lower rates in those from Greece, Italy and India/Pakistan (men) and Italy, Poland and Yugoslavia (women). The data were compared with previously published suicide rates of migrants in Australia 1962-1970, showing both similarities and differences. There was very little difference in attempted suicide methods used by different groups. These results were discussed considering factors in the country of origin, in the country of resettlement and relating to the migration itself. Difficulty was encountered in comparing the rates with those in the countries of origin. Strong family ties, religious adherences and maintenance of traditional values were postulated to explain the low Asian and Southern European rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / ethnology
  • Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Scotland / ethnology
  • Social Values
  • Suicide, Attempted / epidemiology*
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology*