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Evictions and suicide: a follow-up study of almost 22 000 Swedish households in the wake of the global financial crisis
  1. Yerko Rojas,
  2. Sten-Åke Stenberg
  1. Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Yerko Rojas, Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, Stockholm SE-10691, Sweden; yerko.rojas{at}sofi.su.se

Abstract

Background Millions of families across the world are evicted every year. However, very little is known about the impact that eviction has on their lives. This lack of knowledge is also starting to be noticed within the suicidological literature, and prominent scholars are arguing that there is an urgent need to explore the extent to which suicides may be considered a plausible consequence of being faced with eviction.

Method The present study's sample consists of all persons served with an application for execution of an eviction order during 2009–2012. This group is compared to a random 10% sample of the general Swedish population, ages 16 years and over. The analysis is based on penalised maximum likelihood logistic regressions.

Results Those who had lost their legal right to their dwellings and for whom the landlord had applied for the eviction to be executed were approximately four times more likely to commit suicide than those who had not been exposed to this experience (OR=4.42), controlling for several demographic, socioeconomic and mental health conditions prior to the date of the judicial decision.

Conclusions Home evictions have a significant and detrimental impact on individuals’ risk of committing suicide, even when several other well-known suicidogenic risk factors are controlled for. Our results reinforce the importance of ongoing attempts to remove the issue of evictions from its status as a hidden and neglected social problem.

  • SUICIDE
  • SOCIAL FACTORS IN
  • SOCIO-ECONOMIC

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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Supplementary materials

  • Abstract in Swedish

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