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Nutritional Intake Deficiency, Suicidology and Homicide Rates: An Empirical Assessment Using Data from 1990 to 2012

Paul Andrew Bourne, Charlene Sharpe-Pryce and Angela Hudson-Davis

Introduction: In the English-speaking Caribbean, homicide, suicide, under-nutrition and macroeconomic variables have never been linked in a single study. The gap in the literature may hold explanation for the homicide pandemic and this bridge must be mended to reflect a better understanding that extends beyond criminology. Objectives: This paper seeks to examine factors that determine nutritional intake including variables such as homicide, macroeconomic variables, divorce, and suicide as well as factors that impact on homicide by examining conditions such as nutritional intake, macroeconomic variables and divorce. Materials and methods: For this paper, secondary data published by various governmental agencies were collected to examine certain issues. The data for the period is from 1990-to-2012. Ordinary least square (OLS) regression was to determine factors of a single dependent variables, with the level of significance being 5% at the 2-tailed level. Results: Four factors explain 89.7% of the variability in logged nutritional intake deficiency rate. These factors are homicide, logged inflation rate, divorce rate and logged unemployment, with homicides contributing the majority of the variance (R2 = 60.0%). Poverty is highly inter-correlated with nutritional intake deficiency rate (rxy = 0.972, P<0.0001). Of the three factors explaining homicide rate in Jamaica, nutritional intake accounts for most of the variability (R2 = 0.600) followed by divorce rate (R2=0.172) and unemployment rate (R2 = 0.053). Six factors determine suicide rates in Jamaica - unemployment having the most influence on suicide rates in Jamaica (46.5%), followed by divorce (21.5%); homicide rate (15.3%); nutritional intake (12.4%); inflation rate (4%), and poverty rate (5%) percent. Conclusion: Divorce has a direct impact on the nutritional intake, suicide and homicide rates in Jamaica. Divorce or separation is a complex phenomenon as it destroys the psychological state of the individual involved, which affect the nutritional intake of foods that may lead to an increase tendency to commit or attempt a suicidal act, a likeliness to become engage in violent acts, and reduced economic resources.