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Percept Mot Skills. 2009 Aug;109(1):208-12.

Big five personality factors and suicide rates in the United States: a state-level analysis.

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  • 1Department of Basic Psychological Research, School of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, Rm 03-46, A-1010 Vienna, Austria.


Partly replicating findings from several cross-national studies (of Lester and of Voracek) on possible aggregate-level associations between personality and suicide prevalence, state-level analysis within the United States yielded significantly negative associations between the Big Five factor of Neuroticism and suicide rates. This effect was observed for historical as well as contemporary suicide rates of the total or the elderly population and was preserved with controls for the four other Big Five factors and measures of state wealth. Also conforming to cross-national findings, the Big Five factors of Agreeableness and Extraversion were negatively, albeit not reliably, associated with suicide rates.

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