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Marital Status, Alcohol Consumption, and Suicide: An Analysis of National Data

Steven Stack and Ira Wasserman
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Nov., 1993), pp. 1018-1024
DOI: 10.2307/352781
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352781
Page Count: 7
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Marital Status, Alcohol Consumption, and Suicide: An Analysis of National Data
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Abstract

Previous work on the effect of marital status on the risk of suicide has neglected alcohol consumption. It is unclear if marital status has a direct effect on suicide. The effect of low marital integration on suicide may be only indirect through alcohol consumption. The present study reassesses the linkage between marital status and suicide with individual-level data based on a national random sample of 10,906 deaths. Logistic regression results indicate that low marital integration significantly increases the odds of dying from suicide, independent of alcohol consumption. Low marital integration also affects suicide indirectly through its association with alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is, however, more closely related to risk of suicide than low marital integration. The analysis provides further evidence of the validity of the marital integration-suicide linkage.

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