ERIC Number: ED346391
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Current Suicide Rates among Psychologists.
Phillips, Suzanne M.
High rates of suicide were reported in the 1960s and early 1970s among women in medicine and psychology, relative to women in the general population. This study explored suicide rates among American Psychological Association members, fellows, and associates. Subjects (N=179) were members who died in 1988 or 1989 and were under 65 years of age. Death certificates were obtained for nearly 70% of the sample, involving deaths of 27 women and 98 men. Raters classified each case into one of three categories: a definite suicide, possible/hidden suicide, or non-suicide. In this sample six suicides were identified, three among women and three among men. During this period, female psychologists were found to have suicide rates that were similar to those rates in the general population. Male psychologists had suicide rates that were lower than those for men in the general population. Thus the excess suicide rates observed among female psychologists in the 1960s may no longer be present in 1988 and 1989. Lower levels of suicide may have been observed in this sample than in the 1960s because of changes in the relative proportion of men and women in psychology. The degree to which suicide rates among men and women in psychology have changed over time offers a unique opportunity for understanding more about suicide and its causes. (ABL)
Descriptors: Counselor Characteristics, Incidence, Psychologists, Sex Differences, Suicide, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (63rd, Boston, MA, April 3-5, 1992).