Self-esteem and suicide rates in 55 Nations



Using recent data from the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), we examined whether national differences in self-esteem across 55 nations are reflected in suicide rates. Results indicate that suicide is especially common in nations with relatively low levels of self-esteem. This relation is consistent across sex lines, age of suicide and independent from several other relevant factors such as economic affluence, transition, individualism, subjective well-being, and neuroticism. These findings provide support for the predictive validity of self-esteem scores as assessed in the ISDP survey. They also contribute to a growing body of research documenting negative consequences associated with low self-esteem. Possible implications for suicide prevention strategies are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.