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Social connections and suicidal behaviour in young Australian adults: Evidence from a case-control study of persons aged 18-34 years in NSW, Australia

Milner, Allison, Page, Andrew, Morrell, Stephen, Hobbs, Coletta, Carter, Greg, Dudley, Michael, Duflou, Johan and Taylor, Richard 2015, Social connections and suicidal behaviour in young Australian adults: Evidence from a case-control study of persons aged 18-34 years in NSW, Australia, SSM - population health, vol. 1, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2015.09.001.

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Title Social connections and suicidal behaviour in young Australian adults: Evidence from a case-control study of persons aged 18-34 years in NSW, Australia
Author(s) Milner, Allison
Page, Andrew
Morrell, Stephen
Hobbs, Coletta
Carter, Greg
Dudley, Michael
Duflou, Johan
Taylor, Richard
Journal name SSM - population health
Volume number 1
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-12
ISSN 2352-8273
Keyword(s) Suicide attempt
Suicide death
Social connections
Relationships
Social support
Summary Purpose: There is evidence that social isolation is a risk factor for suicide, and that social connections are protective. Only a limited number of studies have attempted to correlate the number of social connections a person has in their life and suicidal behaviour. Method: Two population-based case-control studies of young adults (18-34 years) were conducted in New South Wales, Australia. Cases included both suicides (n=84) and attempts (n=101). Living controls selected from the general population were matched to cases by age-group and sex. Social connections was the main exposure variable (representing the number of connections a person had in their life). Suicide and attempts as outcomes were modelled separately and in combination using conditional logistic regression modelling. The analysis was adjusted for marital status, socio-economic status, and diagnosis of an affective or anxiety disorder. Results: Following adjustment for other variables, those who had 3-4 social connections had 74% lower odds of suicide deaths or attempts (OR=0.26, 95% CI 0.08, 0.84, p=0.025), and those with 5-6 connections had 89% lower odds of suicide deaths or attempts (OR=0.11 95% CI 0.03, 0.35, p<0.001), compared to those with 0-2 social connections. With the number of social connection types specified as a continuous variable, the odds ratio was 0.39 per connection (95% CI 0.27, 0.56, p<0.001). Conclusions: A greater number of social connections was significantly associated with reduced odds of suicide or attempt. This suggests that suicide prevention initiatives that promote increased social connections at an individual, familial, and wider social levels might be effective.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ssmph.2015.09.001
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083308

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
Population Health
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