Financial loss and suicidal ideation in a rural community sample


Carolyn Turvey PhD Psychiatry Research – MEB, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52240-1000, USA E-mail:


Turvey C, Stromquist A, Kelly K, Zwerling C, Merchant J. Financial loss and suicidal ideation in a rural community sample. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2002: 106: 373–380. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2002.

Objective: To examine the prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation in a community-based rural sample.

Method: The sample was a random sample of people living in a single county in Iowa. Participants aged 18 or older (n=1617) were asked about suicidal ideation in the past year as well as mood, alcohol use, social support, and stressful life events.

Results: About 8.2% of the sample reported suicidal ideation. Depressive symptoms, problems resulting from alcohol use, infrequent social contact and financial loss characterized the suicidal group.

Conclusion: Depressive symptoms were the strongest correlate of suicidal ideation in this rural sample. In the multivariate analysis, financial loss rather than low income remained a significant correlate of suicidal ideation after controlling for depression. This suggests that change in financial status rather than chronic poverty poses a risk for suicidal ideation.