Social regulation and suicidal attitude among elderly women in Ilam province, Iran

Ali Ayaseh, Shiraz University, Iran
Abdoallah Dashti, Shiraz University, Iran

Suicide among Ilam's women is a national tragedy and a major public health problem (AWP, 2001). During the past three decades, suicide has come to play aproportionately larger role in women deaths. The incidence of suicide among women in Ilam has increased almost 300% in the past three decades (Ayaseh, 2001). The purpose of article is to identify risky factors related to suicidal attitude in a community of elderly women in Ilam province. The main objectives of present study are to report the characteristics of women attitude toward suicide and explore the factors responsible for producing the high suicidal attitude among women under study. Suicide among women in Ilam Province can be attributed to excessive regulation that represents harsh social norms (Durkheim, 1966). In this society, constant supervision embedded in institutionalized patriarchy restricts women's freedom of action, thus constituting the most important factor in shaping suicidal attitude. The mean score of suicidal attitude is above the midi point (3.0) of distribution. This score indicates that the respondents have more propensity toward having suicidal attitude. Significant correlation was found between scores of patriarchy and measure of suicidal attitude. Furthermore, results for regression analysis implies that higher patriarchy accounted for statistically significant portion of the variance in suicidal attitude scores, =0.255. Significant correlation was also found between scores of double-checking and measure of suicidal attitude, r= .417, P<.000. Results for regression analysis indicate that double-checking accounted for 25.5 percent of the variance in suicidal attitude scores. In relation with analysis of imposed marriage and suicidal attitude, mean analysis shows that such women have higher mean score in suicidal attitude than women who have chosen their partners themselves. For explanatory analysis, Eta value indicates that imposed marriage influences suicidal attitude strongly (Eta= .426, p>.000).

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Presented in Session 10: Age norms