Findings on Happiness and SUICIDE

World Database of Happiness

Correlational Findings on Happiness and main subject: SUICIDE

© on data collection: Ruut Veenhoven, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Classification of Findings
Nr of Studieson subject
1 SUICIDE
  Suicidal career
1     Earlier suicidal behavior
    Change in suicidal behavior
2     Later suicidal behavior
  Current suicidal behavior
4     Suicidal intentions
    Suicidal attempts
  Attitudes to own suicidal behavior
2   Attitudes to suicide in general

Appendices
Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
Appendix 2: Statistics used
Appendix 3: About the World Database of Happiness
Appendix 4: Further Findings in the World Database of Happiness
Appendix 5: Related Subjects

Cite as:    Veenhoven, R.: Findings on Happiness and SUICIDE
World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings
Internet: http://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl/hap_cor/top_sub.php?code=0166
Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2021, Netherlands


Correlational finding on Happiness and SUICIDE

StudyVeenhoven (1993b): study ZZ 1980
TitleHappiness in Nations.
SourceStudies in Socio-Cultural Transformation, nr. 2, RISBO, 1993, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
URLhttps://worlddatabaseofhappiness-archive.eur.nl/hap_nat/nat_fp.htm
PublicAdults, general public, 27 nations, circa 1980
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =35000

Correlate
Author's labelSuicide
Page in Source 45
Our classificationSUICIDE
Operationalization
Number of suicides per million inhabitants
Remarks
data: WHO 1987, UN 1985

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-HL---sq-nt-11-br=+.03
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Earlier suicidal behavior

StudyCameron et al. (1973): study US 1971
TitleThe Life Satisfaction of Non-Normal Persons.
SourceJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1973, Vol. 41, 207 - 214
DOIDOI:10.1037/h0035158
PublicHandicapped and controls Detroit, USA,197?
Sample
Non-Response-
Respondents N =295

Correlate
Author's labelHaving ever contemplated suicide
Page in Source 209
Our classificationEarlier suicidal behavior
Operationalization
Closed question: no vs yes

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLu-c-sq-v-4-ar= -
normals     : r = -.28 (01)
handicapped : r = -.11 (ns)


Correlational finding on Happiness and Later suicidal behavior

StudyKoivumaa-Honkanen et al. (2003): study FI 1976
TitleSelf-Reported Happiness in Life and Suicide in Ensuing 20 Years.
SourceSocial Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2003, Vol. 38, 244 - 248
DOIDOI:10.1007/s00127-003-0625-4
PublicAdults, Finland, 1976-1995
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
Non-Response16%
Respondents N =29067

Correlate
Author's labelsuicides
Page in Source 246
Our classificationLater suicidal behavior
Operationalization
The Finnish Cause of Death Registry was used to 
identify suicides between 1975 and 1990.
1 committed suicide after 1975
0 did not commit suicide after 1975

T1: 1975, T2: 1981, T3: 1990
Observed distribution1: 0.62% (N=182, Male=149, Female=33) 0: 99.38%

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-jD%=+ p < .01
% happy (sum of: cannot say,faily happy, very 
happy)
1= 81.9% 
2= 92.2%
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-j
Age-adjusted hazard ratio of suicide(HRs)
- 1976-1985: 35.13 [95CI 6.39-193.14]
- 1986-1995: 4.72  [95CI 1.00-22.31]

Risk of suicide incresed linealy with decreasing 
happiness
- very happy   :  1.0  (reference group)
- faily happy  :  2.73 [95CI 1.43-5.23]
- cannot say   :  4.64 [95CI 2.30-9.34]
- faily unhappy:  6.69 [95CI 3.24-13.78]
- very unhappy :  10.84 [95CI 3.93-29.94]


Correlational finding on Happiness and Later suicidal behavior

StudyTamakoshi et al. (2000): study JP 1989
TitleDepressive Mood and Suicide among Middle-Aged Workers: Findings from a Prospective Cohort Study in Nagoya, Japan.
SourceJournal of Epidemiology, 2000, Vol. 10, 173 - 178
Public40-54 aged male workers, Japan, followed 4,5 years 1989-1995
SampleProbability stratified sample
Non-Response4,5% non-response at T1
Respondents N =18450

Correlate
Author's labelSuicide
Page in Source 176
Our classificationLater suicidal behavior
Operationalization
1: Died between T1 and T2 due to suicide
0: Other
Observed distributionN= 1: 9, 0: 18441
Remarks
T1-T2 difference: 4,5 years

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
M-TH-u-sq-v-4-a
T1 happiness by T1-T2 suicide
OR is relative risk of suicide, adjusted for age
M-TH-u-sq-v-4-aOR=4.34 ns
T1 most/all times unhappy  CI 95[0.73-26.01]
M-TH-u-sq-v-4-aOR=1.61 ns
T1 sometimes unhappy       CI 95 [0.36-7.20]
M-TH-u-sq-v-4-aOR=1.00 ns
T1 never unhappy           (reference category)


Correlational finding on Happiness and Suicidal intentions

StudyVentegodt (1995): study DK 1993
TitleLiskvalitet I Danmark. (Quality of Life in Denmark. Results from a Population Survey).
SourceForskningscentrets Forlag, 1995, Copenhagen, Denmark
Public18-88 aged, general public, Denmark, 1993
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
Non-Response39%
Respondents N =1494

Correlate
Author's labelsuicide
Page in Source 254
Our classificationSuicidal intentions
Operationalization
Single question:
"Do you sometimes contemplate suicide ?"
1: no 
2: not sure
3: yes
Observed distributionN: 1: 1312, 2:60, 3:67

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
A-AOL-m-sq-v-5-ar=-.28 p < .00
 1: Mt=7.95
 2: Mt=6.71
 3: Mt=5.41
All Mt=7.79
O-SLu-c-sq-v-5-er=-.40 p < .00
 1: Mt=7.68
 2: Mt=6.21
 3: Mt=4.30
All Mt=7.46
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-har=-.28 p < .00
 1: Mt=7.13
 2: Mt=5.91
 3: Mt=4.78
All Mt=6.96


Correlational finding on Happiness and Suicidal intentions

StudyVentegodt (1996): study DK 1993
TitleLiskvalitet hos 4500 31-33-arige. (The Quality of Life of 4500 31-33-Years-Olds).
SourceForskningscentrets Forlag, 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Public31-33 aged, Denmark 1993, born in University Hospital in Copenhagen
SampleNon-probability chunk sample
Non-Response39%
Respondents N =4611

Correlate
Author's labelcontemplating suicide
Page in Source 264
Our classificationSuicidal intentions
Operationalization
Single question:
"Do you sometimes contemplte suicide?"
1: no
2: not sure
3: yes
Observed distributionN: All:4573; 1:4131; 2:178; 3:264
Remarks
In the original text the answer was recersed and the 
correlation was wrongly positive

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
A-AOL-m-sq-v-5-ar=-.35 p < .00
1: Mt=7.99
2: Mt=6.23
3: Mt=5.01
O-SLu-c-sq-v-5-er=-.35 p < .00
1: Mt=7.66
2: Mt=5.91
3: Mt=4.60
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-har=-.31 p < .00
1: Mt=7.23
2: Mt=5.45
3: Mt=4.85


Correlational finding on Happiness and Suicidal intentions

StudySumnall & Bellis (2010): study ZZ 2010
TitleA Choise between fun for Health? Relationships between Nightlife Substance Use, Happiness, and Mental Well-Being.
SourceJournal of Substance Use, 2010, Vol. 15, 89 - 104
URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14659890903131190
DOIdoi: 10.3109/14659890903131190
Public16-35 aged night scene public, 9 European cities, 2008
SampleNon-probability snowball sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =1363

Correlate
Author's labelSuicide
Page in Source 97
Our classificationSuicidal intentions
Operationalization
Selfreport on single question: considered suicide in 
last 12 months:
0 no
1 yes

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-u-sq-v-2-bb=-.22 p < .01
CI 95 [0,13-0,38]

b's controlled for:
- sociodemographic factors
  - sexe
  - age
  - relative income
- subjective wellbeing
  - felt sad and hopeless
  - health in the last month
- use of stimulants
  - times drunk last month
  - use of cannabis
  - age first use of cocaine
  - age first use ectacy
- country


Correlational finding on Happiness and Suicidal intentions

StudyCameron et al. (1973): study US 1971
TitleThe Life Satisfaction of Non-Normal Persons.
SourceJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1973, Vol. 41, 207 - 214
DOIDOI:10.1037/h0035158
PublicHandicapped and controls Detroit, USA,197?
Sample
Non-Response-
Respondents N =295

Correlate
Author's labelHaving contemplated suicide during past month
Page in Source 209
Our classificationSuicidal intentions
Operationalization
Closed question: no vs yes

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLu-c-sq-v-4-ar= - p < .05
normals     : r = -.34 (01)
handicapped : r = -.21 (05)


Correlational finding on Happiness and Attitudes to suicide in general

StudyVeenhoven (1996c): study ZZ 1990
TitleLeefbaarheid van Landen. (Livability of Nations).
SourceLecture Piet Thoenes Chair, University Utrecht, Netherlands School for Social and Economic Policy Research, 1996, Vol. 2, Utrecht, Netherlands
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/16320
PublicAdults, general public, 48 nations, around 1990
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =75000

Correlate
Author's labelAcceptance of suicide
Page in Source 42
Our classificationAttitudes to suicide in general
Operationalization
Average response to survey question:
Please tell me for suicide whether it can 
 1: never be justified
 .
 .
10: always be justified
Remarks
Data: World Value Survey 2 1990-92, Ann Arbor, 
Michagan, USA

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-ar=+.43
Happy Life Years by Acceptance of suicide in 42 
nations
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-arpc=+.16
rpc controlled for buying power per capita


Correlational finding on Happiness and Attitudes to suicide in general

StudyVeenhoven (2001c): study ZZ 1990 /1
TitleWhat We Know about Happiness.
SourcePaper presented at the Dialogue on 'Gross National Happiness', 2001, Woudschoten, Zeist, The Netherlands.
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/8778
PublicAdults, general public, 48 nations, around 1990
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =75000

Correlate
Author's labelacceptance of suicide
Page in Source 22
Our classificationAttitudes to suicide in general
Operationalization
Public opinion
Remarks
Source: World Values Survey 2: items 312 and 313

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-ar=+.29
Average happiness by acceptance of suicide in 42 
nations
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-arpc=+.03
rpc controlled for buying power per capita


Appendices

Appendix 1: Happiness measures used

CodeFull Text
A-AOL-m-sq-v-5-aSingle direct question:

How are you feeling now....?
5 very good
4 good
3 neither good nor poor
2 poor
1 very poor
M-TH-u-sq-v-4-aSelf report on single question:

I am not satisfied with my life
1 all the time
2 most of the time
3 sometimes
4 never

Item in Zung's Depression Scale
O-HL---sq-nt-11-bSelf report on single question

Various items using the term happiness

Responses transformed to common 0 to 10 scale

Scores on verbal response scales transformed using Thurstone's technique of expert weighing

Scores on numerical scales shorter than 11 step transformed by linear stretching
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-haSelfreport on single question

How happy are you now?
5 very happy
4 happy
3 neither happy nor unhappy
2 unhappy
1 very unhappy
O-HL-c-sq-v-5-jSelfreport on single question

Do you feel your life at present is…?
5 very happy
4 fairly happy
3 cannot say
2 fairly sad
1 very sad
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-aSelfreport on single question:

Taking all things together, would you say you are.....?
4 very happy
3 quite happy
2 not very happy
1 not at all happy.
O-SLu-c-sq-v-4-aSelfreport on single question :

"These days my life is .....".
4 just great
3 more than satisfactory
2 less than satisfactory
1 miserable
O-SLu-c-sq-v-5-eSelfreport on single question:

'How satisfied are you with your life now?'
5 very satisfied
2 satisfied
3 neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
2 dissatisfied
1 very dissatisfied
O-SLW-u-sq-v-2-bSelfreport on single question:

Are you satisfied with your life as a whole?
1 yes
0 no
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-aHappy Life Years

Life-expectancy in nations multiplied by 0-1 average happiness as assessed with survey questions type O-HL


Appendix 2: Statistics used

SymbolExplanation
bREGRESSION COEFFICIENT (non-standardized) by LEAST SQUARES (OLS)
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Theoretical range: unlimited

Meaning:
b > 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating on average.
B < 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating on average.
B = 0 Not any correlation with the relevant correlate.
D%DIFFERENCE in PERCENTAGES
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate level: dichotomous, but nominal or ordinal theoretically possible as well. Happiness level: dichotomous
Range: [-100; +100]

Meaning: the difference of the percentages happy people at two correlate levels.
OROR: Odds ratio in binary logistic regression.

Happiness is a binary or dichotomous variable with Happy =1 and Unhappy=0.

OR < 1 indicates that the odds of being happy-to-being unhappy
decreases by a factor OR when

1) the corresponding metric correlate increases by one unit
2) the corresponding category of a categorical correlate is compared to the reference category.

OR > 1 indicates an increase by a factor OR for both the above cases.
rPRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENT (Also "Pearson's correlation coefficient' or simply 'correlation coefficient')
Type: test statistic.
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning:
r = 0 « no correlation ,
r = 1 « perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with high happiness values, and
r = -1 « perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with low happiness values.
rpcPARTIAL CORRELATION COEFFICIENT
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning: a partial correlation between happiness and one of the correlates is that correlation, which remains after accounting for the contribution of the other influences, or some of them, to the total variability in the happiness scores.
Under that conditions
rpc > 0 « a higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating,
rpc < 0 « a higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating,


Appendix 3: About the World Database of Happiness


A new version of this website is available since 2020 August 1 at the old address worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl
This old website is renamed as worlddatabaseofhappiness-archive.eur.nl and is still maintained.
The new website links to some parts of this old website for the time being.


Structure of the collections

The World Database of Happiness is an archive of research findings on subjective enjoyment of life .
It brings together findings that are scattered throughout many studies and provides a basis for synthetic work.

World literature on subjective wellbeing


Selection on fit with definition of happiness

Bibliography    and     Directory    

Selection of empirical studies and within these on valid measurement: Happiness measures
Abstracting and classification of findings

How happy people are, distributional findings What goes together with happiness

Happiness in nations
Happiness in regions
Happiness in publics
Correlational findings

  Listing of comparable findings in nations  
States of nations   ,   Trends in nations


Size of the collections
14971 publications in Bibliography of happiness, of which 7730 report an empirical study that is eligible for inclusion in the findings archive.
1354 measures of happiness, mostly single survey questions varying in wording and response scale.
12851 distributional findings in the general public, of which 9280 in 173 nations (former nations and de facto nations included) and 3571 findings in 2299 regions and cities in nations.
3068 studies with findings in 175 specific publics.
20128 correlational findings observed in 2592 studies, excerpted from 1898 publications.

Appendix 4 Further Findings in the World Database of Happiness

Main Subjects Number of Studies
ACTIVITY (how much one does)3
ACTIVITY: PATTERN (what one does)374
AFFECTIVE LIFE81
AGE857
AGGRESSION15
ANOMY35
APPEARANCE (good looks)28
ATTITUDES17
AUTHORITARIANISM4
BIRTH CONTROL2
BIRTH HISTORY (own birth)201
BODY113
CHILDREN13
CHILDREN: WANT FOR (Parental aspirations)13
CHILDREN: HAVING (parental status)349
CHILDREN: CHARACTERISTICS OF ONE'S CHILDREN40
CHILDREN: RELATION WITH ONE'S CHILDREN19
CHILDREN: REARING OF ONE'S CHILDREN (parental behavior)36
COMMUNAL LIVING16
COMPETENCES21
CONCERNS50
CONSUMPTION174
COPING71
CREATIVENESS8
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR3
CULTURE (Arts and Sciences)51
DAILY JOYS & HASSLES7
DISASTER3
EDUCATION724
EMPLOYMENT 1078
ERA (temporal period)163
ETHNICITY231
EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR12
EVENTS2
FAMILY OF ORIGIN (earlier family for adults, current for young)528
FAMILY OF PROCREATION154
FAMILY OF RELATIVES270
FARMING68
FREEDOM59
FRIENDSHIP375
GENDER840
GRIEF1
HABITS2
HANDICAP55
HAPPINESS: BEHAVIOR4
HAPPINESS: CAREER302
HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS20
HAPPINESS: EFFECT OF CONDITIONS FOR HAPPINESS3
HAPPINESS: CORRESPONDENCE OF DIFFERENT MEASURES397
HAPPINESS: OF OTHERS23
HAPPINESS: REPUTATION OF HAPPINESS27
HAPPINESS: SEQUALE1
HAPPINESS: VIEWS ON HAPPINESS164
HEALTH: BEHAVIOR67
HEALTH: MENTAL308
HEALTH: PHYSICAL966
HEALTH: PSYCHO-SOMATIC COMPLAINTS71
HEALTH: PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT548
HEALTH: TREATMENT MEDICAL201
HELPING19
HOPE38
HOUSEHOLD: COMPOSITION336
HOUSEHOLD: WORK48
HOUSING389
INCOME1385
INSTITUTIONAL LIVING64
INTELLIGENCE92
INTERNET205
INTERESTS29
INTERVIEW 104
INTIMACY220
LANGUAGE51
LEADERSHIP15
LEISURE470
LIFE APPRAISALS: OTHER THAN HAPPINESS527
LIFE CHANGE72
LIFE EVENTS149
LIFE GOALS131
LIFE HISTORY12
LIFE STYLE 76
LOCAL: CULTURE11
LOCAL: DEMOGRAPHY38
LOCAL: ECONOMY238
LOCAL: GEOGRAPHY303
LOCAL: LIVABILITY (fit with human needs/capacities)8
LOCAL: POLITICS14
LOCAL: RESIDENCE89
LOCAL: SOCIETY263
LOTTERY13
LOVE-LIFE46
MARRIAGE: MARITAL STATUS CAREER120
MARRIAGE: CURRENT MARITAL STATUS1050
MARRIAGE: RELATIONSHIP197
MARRIAGE: PARTNER84
MEANING35
MEDITATION8
MIGRATION: TO OTHER COUNTRY125
MIGRATION: TO OTHER REGION1
MIGRATION: MOVING WITHIN COUNTRY (residential mobility)54
MIGRATION: MOVING WITHIN REGION0
MIGRATION: MIGRANT WORK5
MILITARY LIFE14
MINORITY STATUS0
MODERNITY62
MOOD408
MOTIVATION25
MOBILITY (travel)0
NATION: ATTITUDES TO ONE'S NATION80
NATION: CULTURE191
NATION: DEMOGRAPHY40
NATION: ECONOMY498
NATION: GEOGRAPHY90
NATION: HISTORY7
NATION: JUSTICE61
NATION: LIFESTYLE12
NATION: LIVABILITY (fit with human needs/capacities)70
NATION: NATIONALITY82
NATION: PERSONALITY (modal)88
NATION: POLITICS234
NATION: POSITION OF ONE'S NATION23
NATION: SOCIETY315
NUTRITION184
OCCUPATION262
PERFORMANCE149
PERSONALITY: HISTORY57
PERSONALITY: CHANGE15
PERSONALITY: CURRENT ORGANIZATION10
PERSONALITY: CURRENT TRAITS864
PERSONALITY: LATER22
PETS4
PLANNING12
POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR320
POPULARITY33
PREFERENCES6
POSSESSIONS274
PRISON3
PROBLEMS40
REGION OF RESIDENCE112
REGION: CULTURE11
REGION: DEMOGRAPHY9
REGION: ECONOMY48
REGION: GEOGRAPHY34
REGION: HISTORY0
REGION: LIVABILITY. Fit environment - human needs/capacities6
REGION: PERSONALITY0
REGION: POLITICS11
REGION: POSITION1
REGION: SOCIETY7
RELIGION548
RESOURCES37
RETIREMENT170
ROLES31
SCHOOL1429
SELF-IMAGE355
SEX-LIFE88
SLEEP19
SOCIAL MOBILITY27
SOCIAL PARTICIPATION: PERSONAL CONTACTS114
SOCIAL PARTICIPATION : VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS162
SOCIAL PARTICIPATION: TOTAL (personal + associations)61
SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS211
SOCIAL SUPPORT: RECEIVED148
SOCIAL SUPPORT: PROVIDED25
SPORTS226
STIMULANTS104
SUICIDE10
SUMMED DETERMINANTS217
SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR0
TIME 239
TOLERANCE40
TRAVEL30
TREATMENT0
TRUST71
VALUE DEVELOPMENT8
VALUES: CURRENT PREFERENCES (own)172
VALUES: CLIMATE (current values in environment)13
VALUES: SIMILARITY (current fit with others)14
VALUES: LIVING UP TO20
VICTIM 47
WAR9
WISDOM1
WORK: CAREER2
WORK: CONDITIONS152
WORK: ATTITUDES466
WORK: PERFORMANCE42
WORRIES60
UNCLASSIFIED31
X0


Appendix 5: Related Subjects

SubjectRelated Subject(s)
SUICIDESuicide in nation
SUICIDESuicide in region
Attitudes to own suicidal behaviorAttitudes to one self

A report of the World Database of Happiness, Correlational Findings