Skip to main content Accessibility help

Psychological Correlates of Unemployment Among Male Parasuicides in Edinburgh

  • S. D. Platt (a1) and J. A. T. Dyer (a2)


Variations in clinical features associated with unemployment among a sample of male parasuicides were examined. Employed and unemployed persons did not differ in mean scores on the Suicidal Intent Scale, but the unemployed were rated significantly worse on measures of depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and hopelessness (Hopelessness Scale). A covariance analysis showed that hopelessness, rather than depression, is the important discriminator. Different patterns of relationships between the three clinical measures were observed in the two groups. Hopelessness may be a key social-psychological variable for inclusion in any model of the pathways which link unemployment with parasuicide.


Corresponding author

MRC Unit for Epidemiological Studies in Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Morningside Park, Edinburgh EH10 5HF


Hide All
Banks, M. H. & Jackson, P. R. (1982) Unemployment and risk of minor psychiatric disorder in young people: cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence. Psychological Medicine, 12, 789798.
Bebbington, P., Hurry, J., Tennant, C., Sturt, E. & Wing, J. K. (1981) Epidemiology of mental disorders in Camberwell. Psychological Medicine, 11, 561580.
Beck, A. T. (1970) Depression: Causes and Treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Bebbington, P., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J. & Erbaugh, J. (1961) An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561571.
Bebbington, P., Whssman, A., Lester, D. & Trexler, L. (1974a) The measurement of pessimism: the hopelessness scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 861865.
Bebbington, P., Schuyler, D. & Herman, I. (1974b) Development of suicidal intent scales. In The Prediction of Suicide (eds Beck, A. T., Resnik, H. L. P. & Lettien, D. J.). Bowie, Maryland: Charles Press.
Bebbington, P., Kovacs, M. & Whssman, A. (1975) Hopelessness and suicidal behaviour. An overview. Journal of the American Medical Association, 234, 11461149.
Buglass, D. (1976) The relation of social class to the characteristics and treatment of parasuicide. Social Psychiatry, 11, 107119.
Buglass, D., Cobb, S. & Kasl, S. V. (1977) Termination: The Consequences of Job Loss. Cincinnati: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Dyer, J. A. T. & Kreitman, N. (1984) Hopelessness, depression and suicidal intent in parasuicide. British Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 127133.
Eisenberg, P. & Lazarsfeld, P. E. (1938) The psychological effects of unemployment. Psychological Bulletin, 35, 358390.
Feather, N. T. (1982) Unemployment and its psychological correlates: a study of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, Protestant ethic values, attributional style and apathy. Australian Journal of Psychology, 34, 309323.
Finlay-Jones, R. A. & Eckhardt, B. (1981) Psychiatric disorder among the young unemployed. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 265270.
Fruensgaard, K., Benjaminsen, S., Joensen, S. & Helstrup, K. (1983) Psychosocial characteristics of a group of unemployed patients consecutively admitted to a psychiatric emergency department. Social Psychiatry, 18, 137144.
Goldney, R. D. (1981) Attempted suicide in young women: correlates of lethality. British Journal of Psychiatry, 139, 382390.
Hawton, K. & Rose, N. (1986) Unemployment and attempted suicide among men in Oxford. Health Trends, 18, 2932.
Israeli, N. (1935) Distress in the outlook of Lancashire and Scottish unemployed. Journal of Applied Psychology, 19, 6769.
Jahoda, M., Lazarsfeld, P. F. & Zbsel, H. (1933) Die Arbeitlosen von Marienthal. Psychologische Monographic, 5. Trans. (1972) by J. Reginall & T. Elsaesser as Marienthal: The Sociography of an Unemployed Community. London: Tavistock.
Kennedy, P. & Kreitman, N. (1973) An epidemiological survey of parasuicide (‘attempted suicide’) in general practice. British Journal of Psychiatry, 123, 2334.
Kreitman, N., (ed.) (1977) Parasuicide. London: John Wiley.
Metcalfe, M. & Goldman, E. (1965) Validation of an inventory for measuring depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 111, 240242.
Minkoff, K., Bergmann, E., Beck, A. T. & Beck, R. (1973) Hopelessness, depression and attempted suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 130, 455459.
Morgan, H. G., Burns-Cox, C. J., Pocock, H. & Pottle, S. (1975) Deliberate self-harm: clinical and socio-economic characteristics of 368 patients. British Journal of Psychiatry., 127, 564574.
Nie, N. H., Hull, C. H., Jenkins, J. G., Steinbrenner, K. & Bent, D. H. (1975) Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Payne, R. L., Warr, P. B. & Hartley, J. (1984) Social class and psychological ill-health during unemployment. Sociology of Health and Illness, 6, 152174.
Platt, S. (1984) Unemployment and suicidal behaviour a review of the literature. Social Science and Medicine, 19, 93115.
Platt, S. & Kreitman, N. (1984) Trends in parasuicide and unemployment among men in Edinburgh, 1968–82. British Medical Journal, 289, 10291032.
Platt, S. & Kreitman, N. (1985) Parasuicide and unemployment among menin Edinburgh 1968–82. Psychological Medicine, 15, 113123.
Pokorny, A. D., Kaplan, H. B. & Tsai, S. Y. (1975) Hopelessness and attempted suicide: a reconsideration. American Journal of Psychiatry, 132, 954956.
Roy, A. (1981) Vulnerability factors and depression in men. British Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 7577.
Rundquist, E. A. & Sletto, R. F. (1936) Personality in the Depression. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Schwab, J. J., Bialow, H., Hoczer, C. E., Brown, J. M. & Stevenson, B. E. (1967) Sociocultural aspects of depression in medical inpatients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 17, 533543.
Smith, J. S. & Davidson, K. (1971) Changes in the pattern of admissions for attempted suicide in Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the 1960s. British Medical Journal, 4, 412415.
Warr, P. (1983) Work and unemployment. In Handbook of Work and Organization Psychology (eds Drenth, P. J. D., Thierry, H., Willems, P. J. & de Wolff, C. J.). London: John Wiley.
Warr, P. (1984) Economic recession and mental health: a review of research. Tijdschrift voor Sociale Gezondheidszorg, 62, 298308.
Weissman, M. M. (1974) The epidemiology of suicide attempts 1960–71. Archives of General Psychiatry., 30, 737746.
Wetzel, R. D. (1976) Hopelessness, depression and suicidal intent. Archives of General Psychiatry, 33, 10691073.
Wetzel, R. D., Margulies, T., Davis, R. & Karam, E. (1980) Hopelessness, depression and suicidal intent. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 41, 159160.

Psychological Correlates of Unemployment Among Male Parasuicides in Edinburgh

  • S. D. Platt (a1) and J. A. T. Dyer (a2)


Altmetric attention score

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

Psychological Correlates of Unemployment Among Male Parasuicides in Edinburgh

  • S. D. Platt (a1) and J. A. T. Dyer (a2)
Submit a response


We encountered an error trying to retrieve eLetters for this article. Please try again or contact Customer Services


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *