Identifying and Predicting Major Factors Affecting the Suicides in Sri Lanka

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S. M. M. Lakmali
L. S. Nawarathna


Aims: Identifying factors related to suicide and the prediction of future suicides are very important because suicide becomes a significant factor that engaged with education, social status, age, gender and many other factors. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to find the civil and education factors effecting on suicidal attempts in Sri Lanka and propose a model to predict the future suicides.

Study Design: Statistical analysis with descriptive analysis and proposing models for predicting future suicides.

Place and Duration of Study: Data collected from the Department of Police, Sri Lanka, between January 2006 and December 2016.

Methodology: Data set has separated into two categories namely ‘civil data’ and ‘educational data’. We modeled the data from 2006 to 2011 and the data from 2014 to 2016 were used for model validation purposes. Quasi Poisson and negative binomial regression models were fitted to identify the major factors affecting suicide in both categories. Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) values were used to select the best model. Further, the Mean Absolute Percentage Deviation (MAPD) and Symmetric Mean Absolute Percent Error (SMAPE) were calculated to find the prediction accuracy of the proposed models.

Results: For both regression models, the variables age, gender and level of education are significant for the models fitted for educational data, and civil status and gender are significant in the civil status dataset. According to the analysis, highest suicides were recorded for the age groups 21-30 and over 61 males, minimally-educated and married people. By considering the MAPD values, the prediction accuracy of both Quasi Poisson models and Negative binomial models were above 99%. But the negative binomial model is the best model because of the comparable high accuracy than the other model. A considerable reduction in suicides was obtained in 2010, due to the peaceful situation in Sri Lanka after the civil war. It is observed that by paying special attention to teenagers, old-aged and married people can reduce the number of suicides.

Mean absolute percentage deviation, negative binomial, quasi poisson, suicides, symmetric mean absolute percent error

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How to Cite
Lakmali, S. M. M., & Nawarathna, L. S. (2019). Identifying and Predicting Major Factors Affecting the Suicides in Sri Lanka. Asian Journal of Probability and Statistics, 2(3), 1-7.
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