Explaining the income and suicidality relationship: income rank is more strongly associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts than income

Wetherall, K., Daly, M., Robb, K. A. , Wood, A. M. and O'Connor, R. C. (2015) Explaining the income and suicidality relationship: income rank is more strongly associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts than income. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50(6), pp. 929-937. (doi:10.1007/s00127-015-1050-1) (PMID:25893994)

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Abstract

Purpose: Low income is an established risk factor for suicidal thoughts and attempts. This study aims to explore income within a social rank perspective, proposing that the relationship between income and suicidality is accounted for by the rank of that income within comparison groups.<p></p> Methods: Participants (N = 5,779) took part in the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) across England. An income rank variable was created by ranking each individual’s income within four comparison groups (sex by education, education by region, sex by region, and sex by education by region). Along with absolute income and demographic covariates, these variables were tested for associations with suicidal thoughts and attempts, both across the lifetime and in the past year.<p></p> Results: Absolute income was associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts, both across the lifetime and in the past year. However, when income rank within the four comparison groups was regressed on lifetime suicidal thoughts and actions, only income rank remained significant and therefore accounted for this relationship. A similar result was found for suicidal thoughts within the past year although the pattern was less clear for suicide attempts in the past year.<p></p> Conclusions: Social position, rather than absolute income, may be more important in understanding suicidal thoughts and attempts. This suggests that it may be psychosocial rather than material factors that explain the relationship between income and suicidal outcomes.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wetherall, Miss Karen and O'Connor, Professor Rory and Daly, Mr Michael and Robb, Dr Kathryn
Authors: Wetherall, K., Daly, M., Robb, K. A., Wood, A. M., and O'Connor, R. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Publisher:Springer Verlag
ISSN:0933-7954
ISSN (Online):1433-9285
Published Online:18 April 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Springer
First Published:First published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 50(6):929-937
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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