Navigation Links
'Happiest' States Show Highest Suicide Rates: Study
Date:4/25/2011

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Countries and U.S. states that report the greatest number of satisfied inhabitants also report the highest suicide rates, new British research indicates.

Seemingly contradictory, the findings are probably explained by what the study authors describe as the tendency to constantly compare oneself to others.

"Deep down we are creatures of comparison, even though we may not always realize that," explained study author Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at the University of Warwick, so living in a place where there are lots of satisfied people may make depressed people feel even more desolate.

That tendency to compare has been well known about the average person, he said. "What our study shows, rather remarkably, is that is it also true of the extremely depressed," Oswald noted.

The finding is published in the April issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

For the study, Oswald gathered both U.S. and international data. It included a comparison of 1.3 million Americans picked at random and another sample of 1 million Americans involving suicide decisions.

Oswald found that a range of nations, including Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland and Switzerland -- all with relatively high happiness levels -- also had high suicide rates.

They tried to confirm the relationship by looking at two sets of data from the United States only. They found the states with many people who were satisfied with life showed higher suicide rates than states that had residents with typically lower levels of satisfaction.

Utah, for instance, ranked first in life satisfaction but has the ninth highest rate of suicide in the country.

New York ranks 45th in life satisfaction, but had the lowest suicide rate.

When Oswald adjusted for factors such as age, gender, education, marital status, jobs and education, there was still a link, although the rankings changed. Hawaii, for instance, was second in satisfaction with life but fifth-highest in suicide rates. Meanwhile, New Jersey was 47th in life satisfaction but had one of the lowest suicide rates.

The findings did not surprise James Maddux, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

"There is an abundance of research evidence accumulated over several decades that people constantly engage in what is referred to as 'upward comparison' and 'downward comparison.'"

For the former, of course, you compare yourself to those you see as better off. The opposite is true for downward comparisons.

''Too much upward comparison can lead to dissatisfaction with one's life and possibly to depression," Maddux said, ''while a healthy dose of downward comparison -- otherwise known as 'counting your blessings' -- can lead to greater life satisfaction." Research has shown that making a list of things you are grateful for at least two or three times a week can boost life satisfaction, he said.

This comparison explanation is the most plausible, Maddux said. It beats out the more remote explanation that unhappy people gravitate to locations with happier people.

However, the findings are no reason for unhappy people to surround themselves with other unhappy people, Maddux noted.

"They would be better off talking to a few relatively happy people and asking them how they manage to be happy," he said. "That way they might learn something useful."

More information

To learn about how to choose a psychologist, visit the American Psychological Association.

SOURCES: Andrew Oswald, Ph.D., professor, economics, University of Warwick, U.K.; James Maddux, Ph.D., professor, psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.; April 2011 Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Happiest places have highest suicide rates says new research
2. International Open Access meeting comes to the United States
3. Apnea may be cause for awakening and voiding for those with enlarged prostates report Ben-Gurion U.
4. Southeastern States Mired in the Diabetes Belt: CDC Report
5. United States Sees Record Drop in Teen Births From 2007-09
6. 40 States Get an F in Tobacco Prevention From New Report Card
7. States Now Fund Most Embryonic Stem Cell Research in U.S.
8. Cholera and vaccine experts urge United States to stockpile vaccine
9. Preterm birth rates improve in most states
10. States Urged to Fill Gap in Helping Smokers Quit
11. Smokeless Tobacco Use Widespread in Some States
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Happiest' States Show Highest Suicide Rates: Study
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Houston dentist , Dr. Behzad Nazari, ... Center. Currently, patients can get single dental implants for $3,599 and All On ... more about these offers by contacting Antoine Dental Center. Both of these options ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Smart Machine ... from Oxford University predict that 47 percent of all jobs in the United States ... “smart” and “successful.” The day of the aggressive know-it-all who steamrolls over colleagues is ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... With ProGlass Prism users now have the ... have total control over position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, chromatic aberration, individual ... X. , With ProGlass Prism users are given the tools and effects to ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association will ... at the annual Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, held this year ... Worth, Texas. Nine awards are given out in five categories. They are:, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... and Department of Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw previous ... accordance with their gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... and Markets has announced the addition of the "Dry eye Drugs ... ... Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data and ... following questions: What are the key drugs ... in the Global Dry eye market? What are the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , Feb. 24, 2017 ... sector are exploring ways to increase their self-service ... as Health Care Providers (HCPs). New ... that many pharma organizations have developed self-service website ... questions electronically.  This is just one of many ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Report analyzes the worldwide markets for Endodontic ... for the US, Canada , ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , and ... the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis ... derived from primary and secondary research. Company profiles are primarily ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: