Nevin Manimala Statistics

Differences in Beliefs About Suicide by Occupation in a Representative Sample of Adults in the United States, General Social Survey 2002-2021

Arch Suicide Res. 2023 Mar 14:1-15. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2023.2190363. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Beliefs about suicide are important aspects of suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings. This study sought to determine if workers in finance- and legal/judicial-related industries have significantly different levels of suicide acceptability compared to the general US population.

METHOD: Cross-sectional data are from the 2002 to 2021 General Social Survey (GSS). Suicide acceptability was measured with four dichotomous items to which respondents indicated yes/no if they thought someone has the right to end their life in four negative life scenarios. Occupational categories were coded based on U.S. Census Bureau occupation and industry codes. Covariates for multiple logistic regression analyses included age, educational attainment, sex, race, ethnicity, survey year, and religiosity.

RESULTS: Among the 15,166 respondents, 651 people worked in finance-related occupations and 319 people worked in legal/judicial-related occupations. In adjusted models, people in finance-related occupations had greater odds of endorsing suicide as acceptable if one has an incurable disease (aOR = 1.25, 95%CI = 1.03-1.52) and marginally greater odds of endorsing suicide as acceptable if one dishonors their family (aOR = 1.31, 95%CI = 0.99-1.74) than the general adult population. People in legal/judicial-related occupations were more likely to endorse 3 of the 4 suicide acceptability items compared to the general adult population, however these differences were not statistically significant after accounting for demographic factors.

CONCLUSION: Workers in non-clinical industries that frequently see clients during negative life events are prime audiences for gatekeeper trainings but may have entrenched beliefs about suicide acceptability. Research is needed to determine how these beliefs may impact gatekeeper training.HIGHLIGHTSNegative life events (e.g., divorce) are common correlates of suicidal crisisSuicide acceptability differed by occupation type compared to the general US adult populationFinancial- and legal/judicial workers may need more tailored suicide gatekeeper training.

PMID:36916390 | DOI:10.1080/13811118.2023.2190363

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