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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 6, 373 - 381

New research

Suicide among Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands by ethnicity

M.J. Garssen, J. Hoogenboezem, A.J.F.M. Kerkhof

background Research into attempted suicide among Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands has revealed a high incidence of suicidal behaviour among young Hindustani women. Due to a lack of data on the ethnicity of Surinamese migrants residing in the Netherlands, there has not yet been any quantitative study of the relationship between ethnicity and suicide.
aim To measure the differences between the rates of suicide mortality in the group of Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands and the corresponding rates in the native Dutch population, taking into account ethnicity, age and gender.
method The study is based on all the cases of suicide among the Surinamese migrants resident in the Netherlands between 1996 and 2005. Ethnicity was inferred from residents' surnames. To determine the size of the groups at risk, a sample of Surinamese migrants resident in the Netherlands was taken. results Suicide rates within the group of Surinamese migrants are particularly high among Hindustani men and young Creole men and are considerably higher than among native Dutch men. Suicide rates for Surinamese women are considerably lower than for Surinamese men and in most cases do not differ significantly from the suicide rates for native Dutch women.
conclusion The incidence of suicide is particularly high among Surinamese men in the Netherlands. The high incidence is not restricted to Hindustani men.

keywords Creoles, ethnic groups, Hindustani, suicide, Suriname