, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 525-533
Date: 17 Mar 2009

Suicide among Italian adolescents: 1970–2002

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to analyze sex and regional differences in the suicide rate of adolescents and the methods they used for suicide in Italy during the period 1970–2002. Temporal trends and regional variations in suicide for Italian adolescents were retrieved from the Italian database on mortality for the period 1970–2002, collected by the Italian Census Bureau and processed by the Italian National Institute of Health-Statistics Unit. In the period 1970–2002, 3,069 adolescent suicides were monitored in Italy. Analyses of these suicides identified significant differences by region of residence and sex. Males were 2.1 times more likely than females to kill themselves. Male and female suicides had inverse trends in the years analyzed, so that the sex difference at the present time is the result of a continuous increase in male suicides and a decrease in female suicides since 1970. The dramatic peaks observed over the time period studied cannot be attributed to a single cause, indicating that further studies are needed to better understand the phenomenon.