Can Social Ties Be Harmful? Examining the Spread of Suicide in Early Adulthood

Citation

Mueller, A. S.; Abrutyn, S.; & Stockton, C. (2015). Can Social Ties Be Harmful? Examining the Spread of Suicide in Early Adulthood. Sociological Perspectives. vol. 58 (2) pp. 204-222 , PMCID: PMC4480869

Abstract

Durkheim posited that social relationships protect individuals against suicide; however, substantial research demonstrates that suicide can spread through the very ties Durkheim theorized as protective. With this study, we use Waves I, III, and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate whether young adults' suicide attempts and ideations are in part products of exposure to suicidal behaviors via their social relationships. We find that young adults who have had family members or friends attempt suicide are more likely to report suicide ideation or even suicide attempts over both the short and long run. This finding is robust to many important controls for risk and protective factors for suicide. Our findings have implications for the sociology of suicide, not the least of which is that social ties have the power to harm in addition to the power to protect.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F0731121414556544

Notes

Mueller, Anna S. Abrutyn, Seth Stockton, Cynthia

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Sociological Perspectives

Author(s)

Mueller, A. S.
Abrutyn, S.
Stockton, C.

Year Published

2015

Volume Number

58

Issue Number

2

Pages

204-222

DOI

10.1177/0731121414556544

PMCID

PMC4480869

NIHMSID

NIHMS696402

Reference ID

5755