Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Sci Med. 2006 Jun;62(12):3186-96. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

The geography of self-injury: spatial patterns in attempted and completed suicide.

Author information

Center for State Health Policy, Rutgers University, 317 George Street, Suite 400, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2008, USA.


This study uses hospital discharge data, death certificates and medical examiner data for New Jersey for 1999-2001 to investigate whether fatal and non-fatal self-injury exhibit similar geographic patterns. Findings show that the demographic characteristics of individuals committing fatal and non-fatal self-injury are quite different. Furthermore, attempted and completed suicides have a somewhat different geographical pattern. Municipality-level determinants of suicide and non-fatal self-injury were estimated in two separate models. While measures of isolation such as low population density and high proportions of households with only one member were predictive of completed suicides, non-fatal self-injury was related to unemployment and median age. Both types of self-injury were more common in municipalities which lost population between 1990 and 2000, and where divorce rates were high. Population-based suicide prevention efforts should be aided by the knowledge that although there are some similarities in the spatial pattern of completed and attempted suicides, there are some important differences in significant determinants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center