A total of 422 suicide attempts of adolescents (15 to 19 years of age) were investigated and compared with 327 suicide attempts of young adults. Adolescents had more serious social problems than young adults. Their adaptive problems became worse while growing older until the age of 20. Adolescents made suicide attempts with serious intent more often than young adults, but their suicide attempts were not as often lethal as in young adults. Although repeated suicide attempts were relatively common in both groups, only 10 people were part of both materials. Adolescents were as often psychotic when attempting suicide as young adults were. Twenty-four percent of adolescents and 26% of young adults were admitted to a psychiatric hospital as treatment.
In the US in the current era, morbidity and mortality due to gun-related injuries constitute a major public health problem. Children are affected by the gun hazard as survivors of gun victims and as victims of gun homicides, suicides and unintentional injuries. US boys also are involved with guns in childhood play: toy guns early and non-powder firearms later. Toy guns cause some injuries to very young boys, are more dangerous than is generally recognized, and promote aggressive play. Non-powder firearms cause numerous injuries, including severe ones, to school-aged boys. Neither type of 'gun' is regulated. The possible developmental effects of gunplay in childhood are discussed. It is hypothesized that boys in the US develop a reliance on guns in part as a result of childhood gunplay, and that alterations in patterns of childhood gunplay might help to reduce the US gun hazard. There is need for research and debate concerning this possibility.
An analysis of the role of alcohol in death was made in an unselected population of middle-aged males in Malmö, Sweden. 347 deaths were investigated in the years 1975-1981 among males who had been invited to a preventive screening program. An alcoholic background was prominent in the males whose deaths were sudden and unwitnessed. In general, definite pathology was not demonstrable post mortem for such deaths. Their possible mechanisms are discussed.
An earlier study (Lester, 1984) found that, in the United States, cohorts that had a high suicide rate at one point in their life span had low suicide rates at other points, and vice versa. This result suggested that only a limited number of people in each cohort were suicide-prone. The present paper replicates this result, using Canadian data from 1921 to the present time.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is closely related to suicidal behavior, and suicide attempts per se are considered a diagnostic criterion. However, there has been no previous study of completed suicides and BPD. The present study is based on a population of 134 consecutive psychiatric suicides from 1961 to 1980 in a catchment area of 250,000 inhabitants. Clinical records were retrospectively diagnosed according to the Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and DSM-III. There was a progressive increase in proportion of borderline suicides during the time period. The overall proportion of BPD, however, was only 12%, indicating that borderline patients are not seriously overrepresented among patients committing psychiatric suicides. Demographic variables, earlier psychiatric care, and suicidal behavior in the borderline group are described and analyzed.