ERIC Number: EJ871504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
No Evidence of Suicide Increase Following Terrorist Attacks in the United States: An Interrupted Time-Series Analysis of September 11 and Oklahoma City
Pridemore, William Alex; Trahan, Adam; Chamlin, Mitchell B.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v39 n6 p659-670 Dec 2009
There is substantial evidence of detrimental psychological sequelae following disasters, including terrorist attacks. The effect of these events on extreme responses such as suicide, however, is unclear. We tested competing hypotheses about such effects by employing autoregressive integrated moving average techniques to model the impact of September 11 and the Oklahoma City bombing on monthly suicide counts at the local, state, and national level. Unlike prior studies that provided conflicting evidence, rigorous time series techniques revealed no support for an increase or decrease in suicides following these events. We conclude that while terrorist attacks produce subsequent psychological morbidity and may affect self and collective efficacy well beyond their immediate impact, these effects are not strong enough to influence levels of suicide mortality.
Descriptors: Terrorism, Suicide, Psychology, Hypothesis Testing, Models, Correlation, Responses, Evaluation Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; Oklahoma