Suicide rates vary considerably between nations. This observation suggests that sociocultural characteristics of nations might play an important role in explaining suicidal behavior. In this study we examined country-level associations between suicide rates and dimensions of cultural variability while adjusting for gross domestic product per capita. While some characteristics of modern culture such as intellectual autonomy and secular-rational values were associated with higher suicide rates, characteristics of postmodern societies such as self-expression values and egalitarian commitment were associated with lower suicide rates. Exploratory analyses also showed meaningful associations between suicide rates and other measures of cultural variability such as societal cynicism and long-term orientation. Gender differences were also observed, with hierarchy being positively associated to female but not male suicide rates.
Schwarzenthal, M. J, & Milfont, T. L. (2016). Suicide and culture: Exploring country-level relations between suicide rates and dimensions of cultural variability. In C. Roland-Lévy, P. Denoux, B. Voyer, P. Boski, & W. K. Gabrenya Jr. (Eds.), Unity, diversity and culture. Proceedings from the 22nd Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.