Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 28 Issue 4 (July/August 2018), Pages 189-289

Suicide attempts and stressful life events among homeless people in Madrid (Spain) (pages 200-212)

Abstract

The article describes a study carried out with a representative sample of homeless people in Madrid (Spain; N = 188). This study aims to corroborate the relationship identified in the literature between stressful life events and suicidal behaviour in a group in a situation of social exclusion, to assess the differences in the number and characteristics of stressful life events experienced by homeless people who are attempters and non‐attempters, and to identify which combination of stressful life events enables discrimination for suicide attempts among homeless people. The results show that 30% of homeless people in Madrid had attempted suicide, and 57.9% of them had done so for the first time when they were homeless. The interviewees are shown to have experienced a large amount of stressful life events, with substantially more stressors experienced by the homeless people who tried to commit suicide, during both their childhood and adolescence and throughout their life. Finally, we found that the combination of 7 stressful life events provided the best possible discrimination between homeless attempters and non‐attempters.

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