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Social Indicators Research

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 47–64 | Cite as

Explaining Changing Suicide Rates in Norway 1948–2004: The Role of Social Integration

  • Anders BarstadEmail author
Article

Abstract

Using Norway 1948–2004 as a case, I test whether changes in variables related to social integration can explain changes in suicide rates. The method is the Box-Jenkins approach to time-series analysis. Different aspects of family integration contribute significantly to the explanation of Norwegian suicide rates in this period. The estimated effect of separations is stronger than the effect of divorces, both for men and women, probably because separations are closer in time to the “real” marital breakup. This difference has not been demonstrated in earlier time-series research. Marriages decrease the suicide rates for males. The unemployment estimate for men has a negative sign, contributing to fewer suicides. Both increasing alcohol (beer) consumption and fewer marriages seem to be implicated in the soaring suicide rate for young men since 1970.

Keywords

Suicide Social integration Norway Time-series Separations Family integration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I wish to thank Arne Mastekaasa, Lise Kjølsrød and an anonymous reviewer for valuable comments to earlier versions of this article, and Finn Gjertsen for helpful discussions and assistance in finding the appropriate data. A special thank is due to the late Ole-Jørgen Skog, whose helpfulness and expertise in these matters was greatly appreciated by the author. Lastly, I would like to thank the Research Council of Norway and Statistics Norway for funding the project

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division for Demographic and Social ResearchStatistics NorwayOsloNorway

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