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Structural Changes and Suicide in Canada

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The correlations partially support the rationale referring to the extent that technological efficiency, urbanization, industry structure, and occupational structure are related to the national suicide rate over time. Education, one measure of industry structure (tertiary), one measure of occupational structure (females in the labor force), and those of the demographic variables virtually are unrelated to the suicide rate at the national level. Further explorations are necessary regarding the measurements and the indicators of the independent variables. Other indicators of technological efficiency and other measures of urbanization and the occupational structure may prove to be more or less predictive of national suicide rates. Given the nature of the measurement of education, even this variable requires further study. Perhaps the mean number of years of formal education of the adult population will prove to be more substantially related to suicide. Given these preliminary and highly tentative conclusions, further explorations may take the line of developing a multivariate model linking structural factors to suicide rates, based on multiple correlations or beta weights (as used in path analysis). It does not seem unreasonable to assume that technology, urbanization, and the occupational structure somehow combine their effects (either additively or by some interaction process) to influence national suicide rates. Along this line, the longitudinal study should be replicated on other countries where fairly reliable data are available for a more extended period of time than the fifty-year period used for Canada.


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