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Suicide Research
From the age of 65 to 85, the rate of suicide increases. Adults in this age group are at a higher risk of suicide than other ages. The ratio of suicide attempts compared to suicide deaths is around 25:1 for all ages and 4:1 for adults over 65 years old (Cukrowicz, Jahn, Graham, Poindexter, and Williams, 2013). Why are older adults more successful at committing suicide? What other factors contribute to older adults wanting to commit suicide? Forensic psychologists can take information learned from studies and apply it to their work to help them assess patients more accurately. Regardless of age, race, or ethnicity forensic psychologists can use old and new information to properly assess patients’ mental state.
Cukrowicz et al. (2013) conducted a study to determine why older adults were at risk for suicide. They used 239 adults that were 60 years of age or older. Cukrowicz et al. did not select patients based on their risk of suicide or previous suicide attempts. Ninety-one percent of the participants were Caucasian, 6% Hispanic, and the rest were other races. Fifty-eight participants claimed that they had already been diagnosed with a psychological disorder and 28 participants had significant symptoms of depression. Forty-seven participants had thoughts of death or suicide, or a combination of both. Seven participants actually had a history of a suicide attempt and 64 claimed they had a lifetime diagnosis of a mental or psychological disorder. Data were collected by using self-answering questionnaires and clinical interviews. Several scales were used during this study to determine the participants’ emotional states. Cukrowicz et al. used the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Center for Epidemiologic St...

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...might feel like they are an outcast and no one wants to be around them. Situations like these are when a forensic psychologist could assess the individual to determine his or her state of mind.
People of all ages can commit suicide; some age groups do it more than others. For adults aged 65 to 85, this number occurs at a higher rate. Depression, burdensomeness, and thwarted belonging all contribute to death and suicide ideation in older adults. If the signs of suicide can be detected, maybe more adults can get treatment and more lives can be saved. The findings from this study could also apply to younger aged people as well. Whether it is due to a sickness or financially, many teenagers may feel depressed, burdensomeness, or feel like they do not belong to a group. Forensic psychologists can help counsel these individuals and give them the help they need.

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