Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recent Family Murder-suicides Only 'The Tip Of The Iceberg', Sociologist Says

Date:
January 30, 2009
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
A family sociologist says this month's murder-suicides involving a family of four in Ohio and a family of five in California may be "just the tip of the iceberg."

A family sociologist at the University at Buffalo says this month's murder-suicides involving a family of four in Ohio and a family of five in California may be "just the tip of the iceberg."

Sampson Blair, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at UB, says, "Family murder-suicide is still relatively uncommon, but I expect an increase in such incidents over the next few years because economic strain on families provokes depression and desperation."

He adds that family researchers have long pointed to how financial and occupational stressors can negatively impact the quality of family relationships.

"The economic situation also portends a significant increase in other forms of family violence, including spousal and child abuse, child neglect and other forms of dysfunctional behavior like substance abuse," Blair explains.

"What makes this situation even worse -- and yes, it can get worse -- is that there is also a clear association between suicide rates and the state of the larger economy. Generally, in periods of economic depression, there is a slight increase in the overall suicide rate and job loss produces a two- to three-fold increase in that risk.

"Such tragedies don't occur just because one or more breadwinners have lost their jobs," he says. "High levels of stress arising from job loss are compounded by the level of responsibility that goes along with being a spouse and/or being a parent," Blair says.

"So, from the individual's point of view, the loss of a job is certainly bad, but it can become much, much worse when it coincides with a loss of savings and investments, the loss of the family home (through foreclosure, for instance), and dismal prospects for finding another job soon.

"Understandably, when you put all of those factors together, and consider the current conditions for families here in the U.S., it's a rather bleak forecast," Blair says.

He says the incidence of suicide, or worse, murder-suicide, hasn't received a lot of attention among family researchers because it is a relatively uncommon occurrence, but some basic patterns have been recognized.

"It isn't the loss of a job per se that causes this," he says, "but the level of fear and worry that accompanies it that takes its toll on people. Financial stressors are among the greatest risk factors for emotional disturbance and such physiological reactions as insomnia and high blood pressure."

Blair conducts research in the sociology of the family, child and adolescent development, gender and ethnicity. He directs the undergraduate program in sociology at UB and is the former senior editor of Sociological Inquiry, and the former associate editor of the journals Social Justice Research, Journal of Family Values and Marriage and Family Review.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Recent Family Murder-suicides Only 'The Tip Of The Iceberg', Sociologist Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130182918.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2009, January 30). Recent Family Murder-suicides Only 'The Tip Of The Iceberg', Sociologist Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130182918.htm
University at Buffalo. "Recent Family Murder-suicides Only 'The Tip Of The Iceberg', Sociologist Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130182918.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins