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Suicide of Australians during the Vietnam War


Pridmore, S and Ahmadi, J and Pridmore, W, Suicide of Australians during the Vietnam War, Australasian Psychiatry, 26, (2) pp. 149-151. ISSN 1039-8562 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

DOI: doi:10.1177/1039856217734740


Objectives: National suicide rates fall during times of war. This fits with the notion of the population coming together against a common foe. But, what happens in the case of a war which is not fully supported, which draws the population and families apart? We consider this question by examining the Australian suicide rates during the divisive Vietnam War.

Methods: We graphed and examined the Australian suicide figures for 1921–2010. Results: We found clear evidence of a decrease in the suicide rate for World War II (consistent with other studies), but a marked elevation of suicide during the Vietnam War.

Conclusions: The elevation of the Australian suicide rate during the Vietnam War is consistent with Durkheim’s social integration model – when social integration is lessened, either by individual characteristics or societal characteristics, the risk of suicide rises.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:suicide, suicide prevention, war, social integration model
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Pridmore, S (Professor Saxby Pridmore)
ID Code:121782
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2017-10-16
Last Modified:2019-04-01

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