Suicides in Serbia during and after the time of conflicts and in the transition period of the early 21st century

Penev, Goran and Stanković, Biljana (2017) Suicides in Serbia during and after the time of conflicts and in the transition period of the early 21st century. In: La population des Balkans à l’aube du XXième siecle = The population of the Balkans at the dawn of the 21st century. Institut économique Université Saints-Cyrille-et-Méthode de Skopje / Institute of Economics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Skopje, pp. 141-163. ISBN 978-608-4519-19-5

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The paper explores the dynamics of the number of suicid es in the period of 1990-2014 and discovers differences in the direction and intensity of changes in the number of suicides in several subperiods. For Serbia, from a political, social, and economic aspect, that 25-year period encompasses at least three distinct subperiods: the breakdown of former Yugoslavia and conflicts that ensued during the 1990s (1990-2000); the change of political regime and the delayed transition in the early 2000s (2001-2006); the recession period after the beginning of the global finance crisis (2007-2014). The official statistical data for Serbia (excluding Kosovo) imply that the highest number of suicides was in the first subperiod, especially in the time of the culmination of the crisis connected to the disintegration of former Yugoslavia (1991-1993), while a trend of decrease has been noticeable in the last two sub periods. Positive changes in the suicide rate recorded in two other subperiods do not imply that the societal and economic crisis had a negative effect on the suicide mortality. The increase in suicides in the first subperiod, the period of the war conflicts, can be connected to a certain extent to the greater availability of firearms, highly lethal suicide means. The paper also looks at the other most frequently used suicide methods as well as the changes in the observed period. The analysis showed that there was a multifold increase in the use of firearms in committed suicides in the period of an increase in the number of suicides during the first years of greatest crisis, especially for young and young adult population. In this context, the paper determines a change occurred in Serbia's ranking on the European list according to the suicide rate, as well as what types of differences exist in the dynamics of these changes in comparison to other countries. Special attention is paid to the trends in ex­ communist European countries, including former Yugoslav republics . Trends in Serbia resemble those recorded in some other transition countrie s, but the increase in the suicide rate in Serbia in the first subperiod and its subsequent decrease was less intensive . Suicides do not equally affect the old and the young, men and women. Therefore, the paper observes suicides in Serbia in relation to the most significant characteristics of the deceased , age and sex, aimed to explore not only the differences at the level of suicides but also similarities of the changes in the observed subperiods. This is especially relevant for determ inin g the level differences of male and female suicide rates by age and simultaneity of the highest overall and age-specific suicide rates. The number of suicide s for men and women have changed in the same direction, but the decrease among women was greater, which increased the pre-existing differences.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Cinquième Conférence Internationale de Démographie des Balkans, Ohrid, République de Macédoine, 21-24 octobre 2015 = Fifth International Conference of the Balkans demography, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, 21-24 October 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: suicide, age pattern of suicide mortality, suicide methods, crisis, Serbia
Institutional centre: Centre for demographic research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 16:27
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 16:27

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