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Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci. 2002 Mar 1;580(1):172-200.

An International Comparison of Adolescent and Young Adult Mortality.

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Patrick Heuveline's research interests center on population dynamics and family change. His current research includes a comparative project on the increasing complexity of childhood family experiences across industrialized countries and the impact of these experiences on child well being. Other projects in the developing world focus on how populations,and families in particular, cope with demographic crises. One current project looks at the demographic "recovery" in Cambodia after the Khmers Rouges. Another project under development will study the impact of the HIV epidemic on the reproductive regimes of high-prevalence populations in Eastern Africa.


This paper analyzes mortality rates for 3 of the main causes of deaths between the ages of 15 and 34 (motor vehicle injuries, homicide, and suicide) from 1950 to 1996, and across 26 countries. Average sex ratios and age patterns and the trends in age- and sex-standardized mortality rates are analyzed for each cause. Overall, youth violent mortality levels have been remarkably stable since the 1950s. As mortality due to other causes has receded, the contribution of these three causes has increased from 25 to 40 percent between the 1950s and the mid-1970s, and has remained above 40 percent since. Last, a principal component analysis is performed to summarize the variance in age-, sex-, and cause-specific rates over time and across countries. This summary representation of international differences displays regional clusters and emphasizes the "outlying" position of the United States among industrialized nations.


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