Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, study finds

Date:
March 28, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, with increasing numbers of children associated with decreasing rates of death from suicide, found a new article.

Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, with increasing numbers of children associated with decreasing rates of death from suicide, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The study, following 1 292 462 women in Taiwan over 20 years, was undertaken to confirm a hypothesis postulated by the sociologist Emile Durkheim in 1897 that parenthood is protective against suicide. It found a 39% decrease in suicide-related mortality among women with two live births and a 60% decrease among women with three or more births compared to women with one child. The participants, who were followed until Dec. 31, 2007, gave birth between Jan. 1, 1978 and Dec. 31, 1987.

As the limited number of previous studies were conducted in developed countries with smaller sample sizes, this study is significant because of its large size and the number of deaths from suicides -- 2252 -- in the cohort.

In Taiwan, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among men and the ninth among women and has been consistently increasing since 1999. Most Western countries have had a stable or decreasing suicide rate in the 1990s. The male to female ratio of suicide is often greater than 3:1 in Western countries, whereas it is 2:1 in Taiwan because of high suicide rates in women. In Western countries, rates of suicide among women have been decreasing while rates among men have been increasing.

"A clear tendency was found toward decreasing suicide rates with increasing number of children after controlling for age at first birth, marital status, years of schooling, and place of delivery," writes author Dr. Chun-Yuh Yang, Kaoshiung Medical University, Kaoshiung, Taiwan. "The protective effect of parity on risk of death from suicide was much stronger than previously reported estimates. Given that the women included in this study were young (the large majority of suicide-related deaths occurred before premenopausal age) and were among the youngest reported for any country, this finding is particularly noteworthy."

Having children may protect against suicide because children may increase a mother's feelings of self-worth. Children may also provide emotional and material support to a mother and provide her with a positive social role. As well, motherhood may enhance social networks and social support. The finding is in agreement with Durkheim's hypothesis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chun-Yuh Yang. Association between parity and risk of suicide among parous women. CMAJ, 2010 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.090813

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121105.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, March 28). Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121105.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Motherhood appears to protect against suicide, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121105.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
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