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Suicide research has neglected the legal profession. The present investigation determines what risk factors distinguish lawyers' suicides from those of the general population. Given the substantial investment in their careers, client dependency, and ongoing stress of work, job problems are seen as key potential drivers of lawyers' suicides. Data are from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). They refer to 30,570 suicides. Fifteen predictors, including social strains, psychiatric morbidity, and demographics, are assessed as possible drivers of lawyers' suicides. The dependent variable is a dichotomy where lawyers' suicides = 1 and other suicides = 0. The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that after adjusting for the other 14 risk factors, lawyers' suicides were 91% more apt (Odds ratio = 1.91, CI: 1.17, 3.14) than other suicides to have job problems that contributed to their suicide. Other constructs differentiating lawyers' suicides from other suicides included presence of a known mental health problem, age, presence of a known substance abuse problem, and marital status. The full model correctly classified 99.57% of the suicides. Job problems can serve as a key warning sign for lawyers' suicides. This is the first investigation of the drivers of lawyers' suicides. © 2023 American Association of Suicidology.


Steven Stack, Barbara A Bowman. Suicide among lawyers: Role of job problems. Suicide & life-threatening behavior. 2023 Apr;53(2):312-319

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PMID: 36715003

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