Rural-urban differences in reasons for living

Suzanne McLaren, Lisa M. Hopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The suicide rate in Australia is cause for concern, especially the increase in attempted and completed suicides in rural and regional locations. The present study examined reasons for choosing not to commit suicide as a function of residential location. Method: The study involved 655 Victorian residents from four population-based strata; urban, regional city, regional town, and rural. Results: Results from the Reasons for Living Inventory revealed significant differences as a function of residential location. Overall, residents in rural locations reported having significantly more to live for than their urban counterparts. Further analysis of six reasons for living (child, family, moral, social, coping and death-related concerns) showed a pattern whereby residents in rural locations reported having the most to live for, followed by regional residents, and urban residents who reported having the least to live for. Conclusions: These findings are in contrast to increase of suicide rates in rural areas, and highlight the need for a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2002


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