Depression and suicide among community elderly

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The phenomena of hopelessness, depression and, suicidality among the elderly have been long recognized as a social problem. It is commonly agreed that the rates of depression, sense of hopelessness and, suicidality in that age group are higher among older people. Due to its sensitive nature, the gerontological literature has been paid more theoretical and empirical attention to the understanding of such phenomena at the last two decades. The present study concerned hopelessness, depression and, suicidality among an elderly community population. It aimed at providing a demographic profile of factors contributing to depression and suicidality among old people. At five senior citizen centers at the north of Israel, 316 old people living in the community were randomly selected. Subjects were administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Hopelessness Scale (HS), and the Scale for Suicidal Ideation (SSI). The data suggest that four main demographic variables contributed to the explanation of suicidality, depression, and hopelessness among the elderly. Practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2003


  • Community elderly
  • Demographic contributors
  • Depression
  • Family support
  • Hopelessness
  • Losses
  • Mental health
  • Prevention programs
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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