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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24414. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024414. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

The threshold bias model: a mathematical model for the nomothetic approach of suicide.

Author information

1
Núcleo Integrado de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Educação e Ciências Universidade Federal de Sergipe, SE, Brazil. wsdfolly@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Comparative and predictive analyses of suicide data from different countries are difficult to perform due to varying approaches and the lack of comparative parameters.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

A simple model (the Threshold Bias Model) was tested for comparative and predictive analyses of suicide rates by age. The model comprises of a six parameter distribution that was applied to the USA suicide rates by age for the years 2001 and 2002. Posteriorly, linear extrapolations are performed of the parameter values previously obtained for these years in order to estimate the values corresponding to the year 2003. The calculated distributions agreed reasonably well with the aggregate data. The model was also used to determine the age above which suicide rates become statistically observable in USA, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The Threshold Bias Model has considerable potential applications in demographic studies of suicide. Moreover, since the model can be used to predict the evolution of suicide rates based on information extracted from past data, it will be of great interest to suicidologists and other researchers in the field of mental health.

PMID:
21909431
PMCID:
PMC3164734
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0024414
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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