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Divorced Men Are More Likely To Commit Suicide

 A surprising new study about divorce and suicide finds that when a marriage turns sour, men are far more likely than women to take their own lives. Augustine Kposowa is a sociologist at University of California, Riverside and author of the report. He visits The Early Show Wednesday to discuss his findings.

It may well be that although divorce is a crisis and a profoundly stressful life event for many people, men and women react to it quite differently.

A long-term research project followed about 472,000 men and women over the span of nine years, and found some interesting results.


  • Elevated risks of suicide were observed among divorced and separated men, but not among women.

  • However, being single or widowed had no significant effect on suicide.

  • Results obtained remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic and demographic variables.

  • The effect of divorce on suicide risk may be due to absence of social integration, and elevated psychological distress.

  • Accordingly, socioeconomic variables should be taken into account in epidemiologic research on suicide.

The analysis found the following results:

  • Men were nearly 4.8 times as likely to commit suicide as women.

  • Black men experienced a risk of suicide that was 61 percent lower than the risk of white men.

  • In general, the lower the level of education, the higher the risk of suicide.

  • Only those in households with incomes between $5000 and $9,999 (inclusive) had a significant suicide risk.

Web Links

American Association of Suicidology You will find information on where to find crisis centers in your area.

National Mental Health Association Online Depression Screening Test.

Or contact the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).

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