Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Sex and ethnic differences among South Tirolean suicides: A psychological autopsy study

  • Roger Pycha (a1), Maurizio Pompili (a2) (a3), Marco Innamorati (a4), Josef Schwitzer (a5), David Lester (a6), Gabriele Sani (a2), Roberto Tatarelli (a2) and Giancarlo Giupponi (a7)...

Abstract

Objective

The aim of the research is to study whether any differences exist in the rates and characteristics of suicide by ethnicity and sex in South Tirol, Italy.

Methods

Psychological autopsy interviews were conducted for suicides who died between March 1997 and July 2006.

Results

332 individuals belonging to the three major South Tirolean ethnic groups (Germans, Italians, Ladins [Ladin is a Rhaeto-Romance language related to the Venetian and Swiss Romansh languages]) died by suicide. Around 23% of the victims had experienced suicidal behaviour among family members, and more than 31% of them had experienced trauma during their childhood. Germans were 1.37 times more at risk to commit suicide than Italians (95% CI: 1.04/1.80; z = 2.26, p < .05). 69% of the suicides had attended school for less than 8 years: Germans (OR = 4.62; 95% CI: 2.52/8.47; p < .001) and Ladins (OR = 11.24; 95% CI: 2.99/42.30; p < .001) were more likely to have lower education than Italians. There were several differences by ethnicity and sex but no sex-by-ethnicity interactions.

Conclusions

The study indicated that suicide, an alarming health and social problem in South Tirol, may require different preventive interventions for men and women and for those of different ethnicities.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Department of Psychiatry, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Via di Grottarossa 1035, 00189 Roma, Italy. Tel.: +39 06 33775675; fax: +39 06 33775342. E-mail address: maurizio.pompili@uniroma1.itmpompili@mclean.harvard.edu (M. Pompili).

References

Hide All
[1]ASTAT, Ipds-Suicidi. – 2007. Info stampa 2008; 12
[2]ASTAT, Sudtirol in zahlen/Alto Adige in cifre Istituto provinciale di statistica Provincia Aut. di Bolzano – Alto Adige [updated 2004; cited August 17, 2007]. Available from: www.provincia.bz.it/astat/siz04 2004
[3]Beautrais, A.L., Joyce, P.R., Mulder, R.T.Risk factors for serious suicide attempts among youths aged 13 through 24 years. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1996;35:11741182
[4]Benjamini, Y., Hochberg, Y.Controlling the false discovery rate: a practical and powerful approach to multiple testing. J R Stat Soc [Ser B] 1995;57:289300
[5]Beskow, J., Runeson, B., Asgard, U.Psychological autopsies: methods and ethics. Suicide Life Threat Behav 1990;20:307323
[6]Borowsky, I.W., Resnick, M.D., Ireland, M., Blum, R.W.Suicide attempts among American Indian and Alaska native youth: risk and protective factors. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1999;153:573580
[7]Brent, D.A., Baugher, M., Bridge, J., Chen, T., Chiappetta, L.Age- and sex-related risk factors for adolescent suicide. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;38:14971505
[8]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide trends and characteristics among persons in the Guarani Kaiowa and Nandeva communities – Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, 2000–2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2007;56:79
[9]Cheng, A.T.Mental illness and suicide. A case–control study in east Taiwan. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1995;52:594603
[10]Clarke, D.E., Colantonio, A., Rhodes, A.E., Escobar, M.Pathways to suicidality across ethnic groups in Canadian adults: the possible role of social stress. Psychol Med 2008;38:419431
[11]Clayer, J.R., Czechowicz, A.S.Suicide by aboriginal people in South Australia: comparison with suicide deaths in the total urban and rural populations. Med J Aust 1991;154:683685
[12]Coryell, W., Young, E.A.Clinical predictors of suicide in primary major depressive disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66:412417
[13]Crawford, M.J., Nur, U., McKenzie, K., Tyrer, P.Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among ethnic minority groups in England: results of a national household survey. Psychol Med 2005;35:13691377
[14]Deisenhammer, E.A., Haring, C., Kemmler, G., Pycha, R., Hinterhuber, H.Suicide in South Tyrol 1980–1992: influence of affiliation to different language groups. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 1996;246:273278
[15]Dervic, K., Oquendo, M.A., Grunebaum, M.F., Ellis, S., Burke, A.K., Mann, J.J.Religious affiliation and suicide attempt. Am J Psychiatry 2004;161:23032308
[16]Ellis, J.B., Range, L.M.Differences between Blacks and Whites, women and men, in reasons for living. J Black Stud 1991;21:341347
[17]Ensel, W.M., Lin, N.The life stress paradigm and psychological distress. J Health Soc Behav 1991;32:321341
[18]Feinberg, S.E.The analysis of cross-classified categorical data 2nd ed.CambridgeMIT Press 1980
[19]Garlow, S.J.Age, gender, and ethnicity differences in patterns of cocaine and ethanol use preceding suicide. Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:615619
[20]Gibbs, J.T.African–American suicide: a cultural paradox. Suicide Life Threat Behav 1997;27:6879
[21]Giupponi, G., Pycha, R., Sterman, I., Moser, F.Prevenzione al suicidio in Alto Adige (EAAD). Psichiatria e Comunitá 2005;4:
[22]Giupponi, G., Pycha, R., Tomasi, R., Richter, R., Hegerl, U.Prevenzione alla depressione e al suicidio in Alto Adige. Studi su Aggressività e Suicidologia 2007;9:1725
[23]Goodman, L.A.The multivariate analysis of qualitative data: interactions among multiple classifications. J Am Stat Assoc 1970;65:226256
[24]Hawton, K.Sex and suicide. Gender differences in suicidal behaviour. Br J Psychiatry 2000;177:484485
[25]Health for All – Italy [database on the Internet] ISTAT. 2007 [cited August 17th, 2007]. Available from: http://www.istat.it/sanita/Health/
[26]Hendin, H.Suicide: a review of new directions in research. Hosp Commun Psychiatry 1986;37:148154
[27]Hunter, E. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide [updated 2001; cited August 17, 2007]; Available from: http://www.auseinet.com/suiprev/occpapers/ 2001;
[28]Istituto provinciale di statistica - ASTAT Annuario statistico della Provincia di Bolzano 2007 Bolzano: Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Alto AdigeASTAT Istituto provinciale di statistica 2007
[29]Istituto provinciale di statistica - ASTAT Annuario statistico della Provincia di Bolzano 2003 Bolzano: Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Alto AdigeASTAT Istituto provinciale di statistica 2003
[30]Istituto provinciale di statistica - ASTAT Cause di morte in Alto Adige 1995–2004 Bolzano: Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Alto AdigeASTAT Istituto provinciale di statistica 2006
[31]Joe, S., Marcus, S.C., Kaplan, M.S.Racial differences in the characteristics of firearm suicide decedents in the United States. Am J Orthopsychiatry 2007;77:124130
[32]Karch, D.L., Barker, L., Strine, T.W.Race/ethnicity, substance abuse, and mental illness among suicide victims in 13 US states: 2004 data from the National Violent Death Reporting System. Inj Prev 2006;12(Suppl. 2):ii22ii27
[33]Kaslow, N.J., Price, A.W., Wyckoff, S., Bender Grall, M., Sherry, A., Young, S.et al.Person factors associated with suicidal behavior among African American women and men. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2004;10:522
[34]Kendler, K.S., Thornton, L.M., Prescott, C.A.Gender differences in the rates of exposure to stressful life events and sensitivity to their depressogenic effects. Am J Psychiatry 2001;158:587593
[35]Kessler, R.C., Borges, G., Walters, E.E.Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999;56:617626
[36]Kettl, P.A., Bixler, E.O.Suicide in Alaska natives, 1979–1984. Psychiatry 1991;54:5563
[37]Kolves, K., Varnik, A., Tooding, L.M., Wasserman, D.The role of alcohol in suicide: a case–control psychological autopsy study. Psychol Med 2006;36:923930
[38]Lester, D.Native American suicide rates, acculturation stress and traditional integration. Psychol Rep 1999;84:398
[39]Malchy, B., Enns, M.W., Young, T.K., Cox, B.J.Suicide among Manitoba’s aboriginal people, 1988–1994. CMAJ 1997;156:11331138
[40]Marusic, A.History and geography of suicide: could genetic risk factors account for the variation in suicide rates?. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2005;133:4347
[41]Marusic, A., Farmer, A.Genetic risk factors as possible causes of the variation in European suicide rates. Br J Psychiatry 2001;179:194196
[42]Molnar, B.E., Shade, S.B., Kral, A.H., Booth, R.E., Watters, J.K.Suicidal behavior and sexual/physical abuse among street youth. Child Abuse Negl 1998;22:213222
[43]Morrison, L.L., Downey, D.L.Racial differences in self-disclosure of suicidal ideation and reasons for living: implications for training. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2000;6:374386
[44]Neeleman, J., Halpern, D., Leon, D., Lewis, G.Tolerance of suicide, religion and suicide rates: an ecological and individual study in 19 western countries. Psychol Med 1997;27:11651171
[45]Neeleman, J., Jones, P., Van Os, J., Murray, R.M.Parasuicide in Camberwell-ethnic differences. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 1996;31:284287
[46]Neeleman, J., Wessely, S.Ethnic minority suicide: a small area geographical study in south London. Psychol Med 1999;29:429436
[47]Oquendo, M.A., Bongiovi-Garcia, M.E., Galfalvy, H., Goldberg, P.H., Grunebaum, M.F., Burke, A.K.et al.Sex differences in clinical predictors of suicidal acts after major depression: a prospective study. Am J Psychiatry 2007;164:134141
[48]Oquendo, M.A., Dragatsi, D., Harkavy-Friedman, J., Dervic, K., Currier, D., Burke, A.K.et al.Protective factors against suicidal behavior in Latinos. J Nerv Ment Dis 2005;193:438443
[49]Oquendo, M.A., Ellis, S.P., Greenwald, S., Malone, K.M., Weissman, M.M., Mann, J.J.Ethnic and sex differences in suicide rates relative to major depression in the United States. Am J Psychiatry 2001;158:16521658
[50]Pearlin, L.I.The sociological study of stress. J Health Soc Behav 1989;30:241256
[51]Preuss, U.W., Koller, G., Soyka, M., Bondy, B.Association between suicide attempts and 5-HTTLPR-S-allele in alcohol-dependent and control subjects: further evidence from a German alcohol-dependent inpatient sample. Biol Psychiatry 2001;50:636639
[52]Resnick, M.D., Bearman, P.S., Blum, R.W., Bauman, K.E., Harris, K.M., Jones, J.et al.Protecting adolescents from harm. Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. JAMA 1997;278:823832
[53]Richardson-Vejlgaard, R., Sher, L., Oquendo, M.A., Lizardi, D., Stanley, B. Moral objections to suicide and suicidal ideation among mood disordered Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. J Psychiatr Res 2008;
[54]Salib, E., Green, L.Gender in elderly suicide: analysis of coroners inquests of 200 cases of elderly suicide in Cheshire 1989–2001. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2003;18:10821087
[55]Skegg, K., Cox, B., Broughton, J.Suicide among New Zealand Maori: is history repeating itself?. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1995;92:453459
[56]Stenico, M., Nigro, L., Barbujani, G.Mitochondrial lineages in Ladin-speaking communities of the eastern Alps. Proc Biol Sci 1998;265:555561
[57]Sundaram, V., Qin, P., Zollner, L.Suicide risk among persons with foreign background in Denmark. Suicide Life Threat Behav 2006;36:481489
[58]Szadoczky, E., Vitrai, J., Rihmer, Z., Furedi, J.Suicide attempts in the Hungarian adult population. Their relation with DIS/DSM-III-R affective and anxiety disorders. Eur Psychiatry 2000;15:343347
[59]Tatz, C. Aboriginal suicide is different – aboriginal youth suicide in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand: towards a model of explanation and alleviation. In: Project CRCC, editor; 1999.
[60]Weissman, M.M., Bland, R.C., Canino, G.J., Greenwald, S., Hwu, H.G., Joyce, P.R.et al.Prevalence of suicide ideation and suicide attempts in nine countries. Psychol Med 1999;29:917
[61]Wunderlich, U., Bronisch, T., Wittchen, H.U., Carter, R.Gender differences in adolescents and young adults with suicidal behaviour. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2001;104:332339
[62]Wunderlich, U., Bronisch, T., Wittchen, H.U.Comorbidity patterns in adolescents and young adults with suicide attempts. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 1998;248:8795

Keywords

Sex and ethnic differences among South Tirolean suicides: A psychological autopsy study

  • Roger Pycha (a1), Maurizio Pompili (a2) (a3), Marco Innamorati (a4), Josef Schwitzer (a5), David Lester (a6), Gabriele Sani (a2), Roberto Tatarelli (a2) and Giancarlo Giupponi (a7)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.

Sex and ethnic differences among South Tirolean suicides: A psychological autopsy study

  • Roger Pycha (a1), Maurizio Pompili (a2) (a3), Marco Innamorati (a4), Josef Schwitzer (a5), David Lester (a6), Gabriele Sani (a2), Roberto Tatarelli (a2) and Giancarlo Giupponi (a7)...
Submit a response

Comments

No Comments have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *