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Link Found Between Foreclosures & Suicides

Link Found Between Foreclosures and Suicides A new study finds that the recent U.S. foreclosure crisis has contributed significantly to the nation’s jump in suicides.

Researchers from Dartmouth and Purdue University say their findings suggest the association is independent of other economic factors.

The study is the first to show a correlation between foreclosure and suicide rates.

As found in the American Journal of Public Health, state-level foreclosure and suicide rates from 2005 to 2010 were analyzed.

During that period, the U.S. suicide rate increased by nearly 13 percent, and the number of annual home foreclosures hit a record 2.9 million (in 2010).

“It seems that foreclosures affect suicide rates in two ways,” says co-author Jason Houle, an assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth.

“The loss of a home clearly impacts individuals and families, and can arouse feelings of loss, shame, or regret.

“At the same time, rising foreclosure rates affect entire communities because they’re associated with a number of community-level resources and stresses, including an increase in crime, abandoned homes, and a sense of insecurity.”

The impact of foreclosures on the incidence of suicides was strongest among adults 46 to 64 years old; those in this age group also experienced the highest increase in suicide rates during the recessionary period.

While other studies have shown links between economic cycles and suicide rates, this is the first to look specifically at foreclosures.

“Foreclosures are a unique suicide risk among the middle-aged,” Houle says.

“Middle-aged adults are more likely to own homes and have a higher risk of home foreclosure.

“They’re also nearing retirement age, so losing assets at that stage in life is likely to have a profound effect on mental health and well-being.”


Link Found Between Foreclosures & Suicides

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Link Found Between Foreclosures & Suicides. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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