Is the Suicide Rate a Random Walk?


The yearly suicide rates for the period 1933-2010 and the daily suicide numbers for 1990 and 1991 were examined for whether the distribution of difference scores (from year to year and from day to day) fitted a normal distribution, a characteristic of stochastic processes that follow a random walk. If the suicide rate were a random walk, then any disturbance to the suicide rate would have a permanent effect and national suicide prevention efforts would likely fail. The distribution of difference scores from day to day (but not the difference scores from year to year) fitted a normal distribution and, therefore, were consistent with a random walk.

DOI: 10.2466/12.13.PR0.116k28w4

Cite this paper

@article{Yang2015IsTS, title={Is the Suicide Rate a Random Walk?}, author={Bijou Yang and David Lester and Jennifer A. Lyke and Robert O. Olsen}, journal={Psychological reports}, year={2015}, volume={116 3}, pages={983-5} }