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Structure, Policy, and Suicide Variability across Communities

Research Project 2: Structure, Policy, and Suicide Variability across Communities

Principal Investigator: Robert Bossarte, PhD (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Project Period: 8/1/2012 through 7/31/2015

Abstract: This ICRC-S research project begins systematically laying the foundation for a new generation of studies that will study context as an essential domain for better understanding suicide as a social phenomenon, not solely as an adverse clinical-medical epiphenomenon of primary psychiatric disorders. The need for improved understanding of variability in suicide rates has been widely recognized in sociological and public health literature; the proposed project addresses multiple National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) research priorities, including an examination of societal- and community-level factors associated with increased rates of suicide, consideration of individual-level risk and protective factors other than those related to mental health on suicidal behavior, and identification of community-specific attributes. As a final objective, this project will seek to obtain measures of state-level policies related to domestic violence and to identify associations between these policies and variability in rates of suicide. Ultimately, we will use our overall findings to inform how innovative programs and policies can be developed or modified for use among diverse communities and culturally distinct populations.