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The 15 areas under study in the WHO/Euro Multicentre Study on Parasuicide vary considerably with regard to socio-economic factors, culture, life-styles, etc. In this paper, the authors discuss whether the traditional high risk factors for suicidal behavior (such as unemployment, abuse, divorce, etc.) take on different weights depending on local societal and cultural settings. Results from analyzing covariations between various background factors characteristic of the different areas under study and the frequency of attempted suicide showed weak or insignificant correlations, indicating that high-risk factors can only be identified from international pooled data with great care.

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32 - 42