Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    von Borczyskowski, Annika Lindblad, Frank Vinnerljung, Bo and Hjern, Anders 2010. Gender Differences in Risk Factors for Suicide: Findings from a Swedish National Cohort Study. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 55, Issue. 2, p. 108.

    Lester, David 2010. Suicide in Ireland: a cross-national view. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, Vol. 27, Issue. 04, p. 198.

    Bridge, Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Tina R. and Brent, David A. 2006. Adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 47, Issue. 3-4, p. 372.

    Dervic, Kanita Friedrich, Elisabeth Prosquill, Desiree Kapusta, Nestor D. Lenz, Gerhard Sonneck, Gernot and Friedrich, Max H. 2006. Suicide among Viennese minors, 1946–2002. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, Vol. 118, Issue. 5-6, p. 152.

    Zemaitiene, Nida and Zaborskis, Apolinaras 2005. Suicidal tendencies and attitude towards freedom to choose suicide among Lithuanian schoolchildren: results from three cross-sectional studies in 1994, 1998, and 2002. BMC Public Health, Vol. 5, Issue. 1,

  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: December 2009

7 - Cross-cultural variation in child and adolescent suicide

This chapter explores the relationship between cultural influences and child and adolescent suicide in several empirical ways. International variations in suicide rates from countries around the world reflect the different social conditions and changes in each country. The current social trends towards large-scale globalization, increased economic security, and the shift towards postmodernist values provide the best perspective for understanding worldwide differences in youth suicide. The prevalence of different methods of suicide varies across societies, reflecting both ease of access and cultural influences. The importance of availability or access to means of self-harm is emphasized by trends in gender-specific suicidal behavior. Differences in child-rearing practices and the quality of child-parent attachments may be an important potential influential on cross-national variations in youth suicide rates. Culture also influences the timing, development, and shape of children's concept of death in general and suicide in particular.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Suicide in Children and Adolescents
  • Online ISBN: 9780511550423
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Adam, K. S. (1994). Suicidal behaviour and attachment: a developmental model. In Sperling, M. B., and Berman, W. H. New York, NY: Guildford. (eds.) Attachment in Adults: Theory Assessment and Treatment (pp. 275–298)
Ainsworth, M. (1969). Object relations, dependency and attachment: a theoretical review of the mother-infant relationship. Child Development, 40, 969–1025
Anable, K. E. (1991). Children of divorce: ways to heal the wounds. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 5(3), 133–137
Arnett, J. (1999). Adolescent storm and stress, reconsidered. American Psychologist, 54, 317–326
Banerjee, G., Nandi, D., Nandi, S., Sarkar, S., Boral, G. C., and Ghosh, A. (1990). The vulnerability of Indian women to suicide: a field study. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 32, 305–308
Barraclough, B. (1988). International variations in the suicide rate of 15–24 year olds. Journal of Social Psychiatry and Epidemiological Psychiatry, 23, 75–84
Benjaminsen, S., Krarup, G., and Lauritsen, R. (1990). Personality, parental rearing behaviour and parental loss in attempted suicide: a comparative study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 82(5), 389–397
Bignall, J. (1993). Adolescents and guns [Letter]. The Lancet, 342, 1169
Birckmayer, J., and Hemenway, D. (2001). Suicide and firearm prevalence: are youth disproportionately affected?Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31(3), 303–310
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment. London: Penguin Books
Bowlby, J. (1973). Separation. London: Penguin Books
Bowlby, J. (1980). Loss. London: Penguin Books
Bowlby, J. (1987). Attachment. In Gregory, R. (ed.) The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Brent, D. A. (2001). Firearms and suicide. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 932, 225–239 [discussion; 239–240]
Brent, D. A., Perper, J. A., and Allmain, C. J. (1991). The presence and accessibility of firearms in the homes of adolescent suicides. Journal of the American Medical Association, 21, 2989-2995
Brent, D. A., Perper, J., Moritz, G., Baugher, M., and Allman, C. (1993a). Suicide in adolescents with no apparent psychopathology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32(3), 494–500
Brent, D. A., Perper, J. A., Moritz, G., Baugher, M., Schweers, J., and Roth, C. (1993b). Firearms and adolescent suicide. A community case–control study. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 147(10), 1066–1071
Brent, D. A., Baugher, M., Bridge, J., Chen, T., and Chiappetta, L. (1999). Age- and sex-related risk factors for adolescent suicide. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(12), 1497–1505
Breslin, A., and Weafer, J. (1986). Religious Beliefs, Practice and Moral Attitudes: A Comparison of Two Irish Surveys (1974–1984). Maynooth: St. Patrick's College Council for Research and Development
Brubeck, D., and Beer, J. (1992). Depression, self-esteem, suicide ideation, death anxiety, and GPA in high-school students of divorced and non-divorced parents. Psychological Report, 71(3.1), 755–763
Canetto, S. S., and Silverman, M. M. (1998). Special Issue: Gender, culture and suicidal behavior. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 28(1), 1–142 (entire volume)
Cantor, C. (2000) Suicide in the Western world. In Hawton, K., and van Heeringen, K. (eds.) The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide (pp. 9–29). Chichester: Wiley
Carrington, P. J., and Moyer, S. (1994). Gun control and suicide in Ontario. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 606–608
Casey, P. (1997). The psychiatric and social background to suicide – the problem of prevention [editorial]. Irish Medical Journal, 90(1), 12
Central Statistics Office Ireland (1976–2001). Report on Vital Statistics. Dublin: Government Stationery Office
Central Statistics Office Ireland. (1991). Census Report, Volume I. Dublin: Government Stationery Office
Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services Australia (1997). Youth Suicide in Australia: A Background Monograph. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service
Daly, M., and Kelleher, M. J. (1987). The increase in the suicide rate in Ireland. Irish Medical Journal, 80(8), 233–234
Dawkins, R. (1976). The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Leo, D. G., Carollo, M., and Mastinu, A. (1995). Epidemiology of suicide in the elderly population in Italy (1958–1988). Archives of Suicide Research, 1, 3–18
Durkheim, E. (1897/1993). Suicide: a Study in Sociology [Translated by J. A. Spaulding and G. Simpson.] London: Routledge
Eckersley, R. (1993). Failing a generation: the impact of culture on the health and well-being of a nation. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 29(1), 16–19
Fischer, E. P., Comstock, G. W., and Spencer, D. J. (1993). Characteristics of completed suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 23, 91–100
Giddens, A. (1983). Introduction. In Giddens, A. (ed.) The Sociology of Suicide. London: Frank Cass and Company Limited
Gould, M. S., Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., and Garfinkel, R. (1998). Separation/divorce and child and adolescent completed suicide. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(2), 155–162
Grossman, K., Grossman, K. E., Huber, F., and Wartner, Y. (1981). German children's behaviour towards their mothers at 12 months and their fathers at 18 months in the Ainsworth Strange Situation. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 4, 157–181
Gunnell, D., Murray, V., and Hawton, K. (2000). Use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) for suicide and nonfatal poisoning: worldwide patterns of use and misuse. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30(4), 313–326
Hawton, K., Fagg, J., Platt, S., and Hawkins, M. (1993). Factors associated with suicide after parasuicide in young people. British Medical Journal, 306, 1641–1644
He, Z. X., and Lester, D. (1997). The gender difference in Chinese suicide rates. Archives of Suicide Research, 3(2), 81–89
Healey, C. (1979). Women and suicide in New Guinea. Journal of Social Analysis, 2, 89–107
Heard, D., and Lake, B. (1986). The attachment dynamic in adult life. British Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 430–438
Hintikka, J., Lehtonen, J., and Viinamaki, H. (1997). Hunting guns in homes and suicides in 15–24 year old males in eastern Finland. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 31(6), 858–861
Ho, T. P. (1996). Changing patterns of suicide in Hong Kong. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 31, 235–240
Ho, T. P., Hung, S. F., Lee, C. C., Chung, K. F., and Chung, S. Y. (1995). Characteristics of youth suicide in Hong Kong. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 30, 107–112
Holmes, J. (1993). Attachment Theory: a biological basis for psychotherapy?British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 430–438
Hulten, A., and Wasserman, D. (1992). Suicide among young people aged 10–29 in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine, 20(2), 65–72
Hutchinson, G., Daisley, H., Simeon, D., Simmonds, V., Shetty, M., and Lynn, D. (1999). High rates of paraquat-induced suicide in southern Trinidad. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 29(2), 186–191
Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. New Jersey: Princeton University Press
Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic and Political Change in 43 Societies. New Jersey: Princeton University Press
Johnson, G. R., Krug, E. G., and Potter, L. B. (2000). Suicide among adolescents and young adults: a cross-national comparison of 34 countries. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30(1), 74–82
Kelleher, M. J. (1998). Youth suicide trends in the Republic of Ireland [editorial]. British Journal of Psychiatry, 173, 196–197
Kelleher, M. J., Corcoran, P., Keeley, H. S., Dennehy, J., and O'Donnell, I. (1996). Improving procedures for recording suicide statistics. Irish Medical Journal, 89(1), 16–17
Kelleher, M. J., Keeley, H. S., and Corcoran, P. (1997). The service implications of regional differences in suicide rates in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Medical Journal, 90(7), 262–264
Kelleher, M. J., Chambers, D., Corcoran, P., Williamson, E., and Keeley, H. S. (1998a). Religious sanctions and rates of suicide worldwide. Crisis, 19(2), 78–86
Kelleher, M. J., Corcoran, P., and Keeley, H. S. (1998b). Variation in suicide rates between Health Board areas. Irish Medical Journal, 91, 53–56
Kelleher, M. J., Corcoran, P., Keeley, H. S., Chambers, D., Williamson, E., Burke, U., and Byrne, S. (2002). Differences in Irish urban and rural suicide rates, (1976–1994). Archives of Suicide Research, 6(2), 82–90
Kellermann, A. L., Rivara, F. P., Somes, G., Reay, D. T., Francisco, J., Banton, J. G., Prodzinski, J., Fligner, C., and Hackman, B. B. (1992). Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership. New England Journal of Medicine, 327(7), 467–472
Kreitman, N. (1976). The coal gas story: United Kingdom suicide rates, (1960–1971). British Journal of Preventative and Social Medicine, 30, 86–93
Leenaars, A., and Lester, D. (1995). The changing suicide pattern in Canadian adolescents and youth, compared to their American counterparts. Adolescence, 30(119), 539–547
Lester, D. (1990). The effects of detoxification of domestic gas on suicide in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 80, 80–81
Lester, D. (1993). The effectiveness of suicide prevention centres. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 23(3), 263–267
Lester, D.Suicide in Quebec, (1951–1986). (1995). Psychological Reports, 76(1), 122
Lester, D. (1997). Domestic social integration and suicide in Israel. Israeli Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 34(2), 157–161
Lester, D., and Leenaars, A. (1993). Suicide rates in Canada before and after tightening firearm control laws. Psychological Reports, 72(3), 787–790
Lipschitz, A. (1995). Suicide prevention in young adults. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 25(1), 155–170
Males, M. (1994). California's suicide decline, (1970–1990). Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 24(1), 24–37
Marzuk, P. M., Leon, A. C., Tardiff, K., Morgan, E. B., Stajic, M., and Mann, J. (1992). The effect of access to lethal methods of injury on suicide rates. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 451–458
McGréil, M. (1991). Religious Practice and Attitude in Ireland. Maynooth: St. Patrick's College Survey and Research Unit
Ministry of National Health and Welfare, Canada. (1994). Suicide in Canada: Update of the Report of the Task Force on Suicide in Canada
Motohashi, Y. (1991). Effects of socio-economic factors on secular trends in Japan, (1953–1986). Journal of Biosocial Science, 23(2), 221–227
Neeleman, J., and Farrell, M. (1997). Suicide and substance misuse. British Journal of Psychiatry, 171, 303–304
Office for National Statistics, England and Wales (1994). Mortality Statistics: Cause. Series DH2(21). London: HMSO
Pillay, B. J. (1995). Children's perceptions of suicide – a study at a primary school. In Schlebusch, L. (ed.) Suicidal Behaviour, Proceedings of the Third South African Conference on Suicidology (pp. 163–171). Durban: University of Natal
Pritchard, C. (1996). New patterns of suicide by age and gender in the United Kingdom and the Western World (1974–1992); an indicator of social change?Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 31, 227–234
Reber, A. (1985). Dictionary of Psychology. London: Penguin Books
Reischauer, E. O., and Jansen, M. B. (1995). The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity. Harvard: Harvard University Press
Retterst⊘l, N. (1993). Suicide: A European Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Rich, C. L., Young, J. G., Fowler, R. C., Wagner, J., and Black, N. A. (1990). Guns and suicide: possible effects of some specific legislation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 342–346
Rossow, I. (1995). Suicide, alcohol and divorce; aspects of gender and family integration [comment]. Addiction, 90(7), 985–988
Schlegel, A. (2000). The global spread of adolescent culture. In Crockett, L. J., and Silbereisen, R. K. (eds.) Negotiating Adolescence in a Time of Social Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Shaffer, D., Garland, A., Gould, M., Fisher, P., and Trautman, P. (1988). Preventing teenage suicide: a critical review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 675-687
Shafii, M. (1989). Completed suicide in children and adolescents: methods of psychological autopsy. In Pfeffer, C. R. (ed.) Suicide Among Youth. Perspectives on Risk and Prevention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Sloan, J. H., Rivara, F. P., Reay, D. T., Ferris, J. A., and Kellerman, A. L. (1990). Firearm regulations and rates of suicide: a comparison of two metropolitan areas. New England Journal of Medicine, 322, 369–373
Stack, S. (2000a). Suicide: a 15-year review of the sociological literature Part I: cultural and economic factors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30(2), 145–162
Stack, S. (2000b). Suicide: a 15-year review of the sociological literature. Part II: modernization and social integration perspectives. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30(2), 163–176
Takahashi, Y. (1997). Culture and suicide: from a Japanese psychiatrist's perspective. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 27(1), 137–145
Trovato, F. (1992). A Durkheimian analysis of youth suicide: Canada, (1971) and (1981). Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 22(4), 413–427
United Nations (1995). United Nations Demographic Yearbook. New York: United Nations
Ijzendorn, M. H., and Kroonenberg, P. M. (1988). Cross-cultural patterns of attachment: a meta-analysis of the Strange Situation. Child Development, 59, 147–156
Walsh, D., Cullen, A., Cullivan, R., and O'Donnell, B. (1990). Do statistics lie: suicide in Kildare and Ireland. Psychological Medicine, 20, 867–871
World Health Organization. Suicide rates and absolute numbers of suicide by country (2001). Available at (accessed 3 September 2002)
World Health Statistics Annual (1989–1995). Geneva: World Health Organization
World Values Study Group (1994). World Values Survey, (1981–1984) and (1990–1993) (Computer file). ICPSR version. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Institute for Social Research (producer). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (distributor)
Yip, P. S. (2001). An epidemiological profile of suicides in Beijing, China. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31(1), 62–70