Navigation Links
Happiest places have highest suicide rates says new research
Date:4/21/2011

The happiest countries and happiest U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates, according to research from the UK's University of Warwick, Hamilton College in New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

The new research paper titled Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. It uses U.S. and international data, which included first-time comparisons of a newly available random sample of 1.3 million Americans, and another on suicide decisions among an independent random sample of approximately 1 million Americans.

The research confirmed a little known and seemingly puzzling fact: many happy countries have unusually high rates of suicide. This observation has been made from time to time about individual nations, especially in the case of Denmark. This new research found that a range of nations - including: Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland and Switzerland, display relatively high happiness levels and yet also have high suicide rates. Nevertheless the researchers note that, because of variation in cultures and suicide-reporting conventions, such cross-country scatter plots are only suggestive. To confirm the relationship between levels of happiness and rates of suicide within a geographical area, the researchers turned to two very large data sets covering a single country, the United States.

The scientific advantage of comparing happiness and suicide rates across U.S. states is that cultural background, national institutions, language and religion are relatively constant across a single country. While still not absolutely perfect, as the States are not identical, comparing the different areas of the country gave a much more homogeneous population to examine rather than a global sample of nations.

Comparing U.S. states in this way produced the same result. States with people who are generally more satisfied with their lives tended to have higher suicide rates than those with lower average levels of life satisfaction. For example, the raw data showed that Utah is ranked first in life-satisfaction, but has the 9th highest suicide rate. Meanwhile, New York was ranked 45th in life satisfaction, yet had the lowest suicide rate in the country.

The researchers then also tried to make their comparison between States even fairer and yet more homogeneous by adjusting for clear population differences between the states including age, gender, race, education, income, marital status and employment status. Even with these adjustments. This still produced a very strong correlation between happiness levels and suicide rates although some states shifted their positions slightly. Hawaii then ranks second in adjusted average life satisfaction but has the fifth highest suicide rate in the country. At the other end of the spectrum, for example, New Jersey ranked near the bottom in adjusted life satisfaction (47th) and had one of the lowest adjusted suicide risks (coincidentally, also the 47th highest rate).

The researchers (Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick, Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Wu of Hamilton College and Mary C. Daly and Daniel Wilson both from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) believe the key explanation that may explain this counterintuitive link between happiness and suicide rates draws on ideas about the way that human beings rely on relative comparisons between each other.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Andrew Oswald said:

"Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable in an environment in which other humans are unhappy."

Professor Stephen Wu of Hamilton College said:

"This result is consistent with other research that shows that people judge their well-being in comparison to others around them. These types of comparison effects have also been shown with regards to income, unemployment, crime, and obesity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Oswald
a.j.oswald@warwick.ac.uk
44-787-621-7717
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Yummy Cakes and More Places 2nd in NFL Super Bowl Tailgate Cake Contest
2. New Consumer Era Places Retailers at the Forefront of Participating in Shoppers Health
3. Oransi Launches Robby Wash High Efficiency Laundry Detergent in U.S. – 10 Ounces Replaces 75 lbs. of Traditional Laundry Detergent
4. Laser Spine Institute Recognized Among the 2010 Top Workplaces in Tampa Bay
5. Robby Wash High Efficiency Laundry Detergent Offers 25% off Coupon – Replaces 75 lbs. of Traditional Laundry Detergent Saving $100 Annually
6. Outside Magazine Names LeBootCamp as One of America's Best Places to Work in 2010
7. The Best -- and Worst -- Places To Be a Mother
8. San Antonio Business Journal Names BMI of Texas One of the Best Places to Work in San Antonio
9. Mobile and Patented: DATA-TO-CAMERA TOGGLE on handheld device replaces old camera and clipboard approach everywhere! Beats IPAD to camera punch too.....
10. The International Association of Anesthesiologists Places its Top Doctors in the Renowned Medical Publication, The Leading Physicians of the World.
11. Widespread Use of Defibrillators in Public Places Saves Lives: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Happiest places have highest suicide rates says new research
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... of our nation’s productivity, stability, even security. Most importantly, employees are the single ... Then why are American workers so unhappy? , Just under half of American ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Conditions were ideal for Global ... Park on Sunday, with sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the 60s. ... , The 5k Run and Walk and 1-mile walk were held to increase ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, ... is proud to announce one of their physicians has been invited to be a ... (Texas ACOFP) Family Practice Review conference on April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... of patented products, announces the Gyrociser, an exercise invention which aids in proper ... billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Globalization ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Dr. Robert Mondavi, one of the dentists in Torrance , is now ... as more patients are discovering the many different ways they can change and improve ... to them and which ones might work for their smiles. , “One of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... Sachs CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin ... führenden Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens ... wurde, bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit ... Frankreich angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Zillion Group today ... technology platform, which specializes in live video consultation. ... digital products, Zillion enables companies to realize the ... to take control of their health. ... – including one-to-one, group and webcast scheduled or ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... NEW YORK , April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... OASM ), a developer of a new ... today announced positive overall survival results for Paclical/Apealea ... total of 789 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. ... treatment groups: Paclical/Apealea in combination with carboplatin versus ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: