Age differences in behaviors leading to completed suicide

Yeates Conwell, Paul R. Duberslein, Christopher Cox, John Herrmann, Nicholas Forbes, Eric D. Caine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors described retrospectively the premorbid self-destructive behaviors of suicide victims to determine whether these behaviors differ with age. One hundred forty-one suicide victims, age 21-92 years, were studied by psychological autopsy. Older age was significantly associated with more determined and planful self-destructive acts, less violent methods, and fewer warnings of suicidal intent. Age differences in the behaviors leading to suicide indicate that intervention in the midst of a suicidal crisis may be less effective in elderly persons than in younger people. Primary prevention should be the focus of efforts to decrease suicide rates in late life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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