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Attitudes towards suicide among Kurdish people in Iran



Attitudes towards suicide represent a key stage in the pathway leading to suicide. A deeper understanding of the social, psychological and treatment-related factors influencing the development of attitudes towards suicide could guide suicide prevention strategies especially in a neglected population like Kurds.


In a cross-sectional study in Iranian Kurdistan, 1,000 households participated in the investigation from April to May 2006 selected by a cluster random sampling process. A questionnaire on attitudes towards suicide (ATTS) was used to measure suicide related attitudes and thoughts.


Suicide related experiences were more often reported from the wider social network (relative, friends, acquaintances) than from family members. There is a significant accumulation of suicide related experiences when a related event was reported in the close family. The level of suicide related attitudes is related to age, gender, marital status, level of education and employment status.


Openness towards the topic of suicide as well as abilities to communicate about it should be improved by educating the public and additionally be promoted by changing conservative value systems.

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We like to thank the Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences for the assistance and promotion of our research project by conducting the data collection. Particular thanks to the Deputy of Research, Dr Esmail Nasab, and Mr. Fardin Gharibi.

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Correspondence to Prof. Dr. Jörg Richter.

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Mofidi, N., Ghazinour, M., Salander-Renberg, E. et al. Attitudes towards suicide among Kurdish people in Iran. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol 43, 291–298 (2008).

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Key words

  • attitudes towards suicide
  • suicide attempts
  • Iranian Kurds
  • cross-sectional study