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February 1965

Broken Homes and Attempted and Completed Suicide

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine. Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Dorpat), Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Jackson), and Professor and Chairman (Dr. Ripley).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(2):213-216. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720320101011

Introduction  THE PRESENT study is part of a larger psychosocial study of an unselected and consecutive series of 114 subjects who committed suicide and a series of 121 subjects who attempted suicide in King County, Wash.7-9 The purpose of the paper is to report the prevalence of broken homes in childhood in these groups and to discuss its significance in the etiology of suicidal behavior.No systematic studies of the prevalence of broken homes among those who succeeded in committing suicide could be found in the literature. The prevalence of broken homes in previously published reports on patients who have attempted suicide ranges from 38% to 84%1,11-13,15 All of the groups of attempted suicides studied were highly selected groups and no data for control groups were given. However, in these published studies of suicides the rates of parental deprivation are all much

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