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:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Stephanie Hebert Insurance Agency, ... of a new charity campaign. As part of their ongoing community involvement program, ... the belief that children deserve a voice, and in the spirit of neighbors ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Brenton ... for pouches, bags, and flow wrapped products at WestPack 2015, February 9-11, in ... manufacturers step up to semi-automatic or fully-automatic case packing with a small footprint, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Steve Helwig & Associates Insurance & Financial, serving the ... has teamed up with Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse in support of its efforts ... all those victimized by the fear of violence in their own homes, donations may ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies announced today ... Radine, who recently retired as president and CEO of Delta Dental of California and ... the Year , helped lead the effort to raise funds for studies to strengthen ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Eating disorders and post-traumatic stress ... women and men with eating disorders report a history of trauma, research suggests ... of an eating disorder. , At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the workshop, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... YORK, Pa. , Feb. 8, 2016  Unilife Corporation ... developer and supplier of injectable drug delivery systems, today announced ... and six months ended December 31, 2015 after market close ... not scheduled a conference call to discuss these financial results.  ... About Unilife Corporation --> About Unilife ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... (IND) application for SB-318, a single treatment strategy ... Type I (MPS I). The SB-318 IND application ... a Phase 1/2 clinical study (SB-318-1502) designed to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016  CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTI BioPharma) ... written communication from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... placed a partial clinical hold on the clinical studies ... application for pacritinib. This clinical hold impacts part of ... and will also affect planned clinical trials. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: