Some variables associated with attitudes towards suicide among the aged
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The study examined some variables associated with a positive attitude towards suicide among the aged. These variables are stress, anomie, and intimacy. The presence of any of these variables, or a combination of them, in correlation with positive attitudes toward suicide, may lead to suicide in the aged person.;Data was collected from a population of 140 seniors who are members of senior citizen luncheon clubs in the Borough of Queens. They were 100% white ranging in age from 60 to 87 years. The subjects were 58 male and 82 female.;Data collected through a self-administered questionnaire, included the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), the Suicide Opinion Questions (SOQ), the Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSI) and the Srole Anomie Scale (SAS). The hypotheses were addressed through a series of bivariate analyses.;Although none of the hypotheses were confirmed by the data, high levels of life stress and high life stress in combination with high anomie and high geriatric marasmus were associated with thoughts of suicide and the frequency of such thoughts. Based upon this data, a vulnerability scale was devised and it was significantly correlated in the study sample with responses to the items: "Have you ever thought of suicide?" "Have you ever thought of suicide this past year?" "Have you ever attempted suicide?" The findings have implications for social work practice with the aged suicidal client.
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