In the United States, older men of European descent (so-called white men) have significantly higher suicide rates than any other demographic group. For example, their suicide rates are significantly higher than those of older men of African, Latino or Indigenous descent, as well as relative to older women across ethnicities.
Behind these facts there is a cultural story, not just individual journeys of psychological pain and despair. Colorado State University’s Silvia Sara Canetto has spent a large portion of her research career seeking to uncover cultural stories of suicide.
A professor in the College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Psychology, Canetto adds a new chapter to that story in an article recently published in the journal Men and Masculinities. Among her findings are that older white men have higher suicide rates, yet fewer burdens associated with aging. For example, they are less likely to experience widowhood and have better physical health and fewer disabilities than older women. They have more economic resources than ethnic minority older men, and than older women across ethnicities.