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European older adults’ suicide and well-being in the context of welfare state and family: Revisiting relevant theories

Journal article
Authors Jing Wu
Published in Injury Medicine(Electronic Edition)
Volume 6
Issue 4
Pages 62-66
ISSN 2095-1566
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 62-66
Language zh
Keywords welfare state; family; suicide; well-being; older adults; Europe
Subject categories Sociology, Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences, Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


Objective This article explored older adults’ suicide and well-being in the context of welfare state and family, and revisited relevant theories. Methods European countries studied were divided based on their socio-political and welfare organization. The intergenerational family solidarity model was used. The analyses used the data from the database of European Commission funded project ‘European Alliance against Depression’ (EAAD), the World Health Organization (WHO) European Mortality Database (EMDB), European Social Survey (ESS) database, Eurostat database, and the database of the study ‘Value of Children and Intergenerational Relations Cross-Cultural Study’ (VOC). Results Across the European countries studied, suicide rates of older adults had inverse relationship with subjective well-being (e.g. correlation coefficient between suicide rates and subjective general health -0.72, p<0.05; life satisfaction -0.51, p<0.05). Welfare states exert influence on subjective well-being, and thus may lead to variations in risk of suicide at the individual level. Intergenerational relationships in families play an important role in the life satisfaction of older adults. Conclusions The mixed responsibility of welfare state and family towards older adults’ suicide and well-being could be the focus of future ageing research. Social and cultural perspectives in this respect could be further taken into consideration.

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