Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Fred Preston

Number of Pages



This study is an empirical test of Durkheim's theory of suicide. Durkheim's 1897 theory holds that suicide is caused not by environmental or physiological forces, but by social forces, which either push to the individual to take his or her own life, or fail to prevent suicidal behavior; The population from which the data were gathered for this study was the Las Vegas homeless population. The lack of social bonds and social integration, which Durkheim found to be related to suicide, are generally present in homeless persons. Therefore, it was suspected that factors which contribute to homelessness would be positively related to the chance that an individual would commit suicide, and factors which might mitigate the isolation of the homeless individual would be inversely related to the incidence of suicide primary data gathered by a standardized survey of the Las Vegas homeless population, this study finds that Durkheim's theory is supported. Factors such as living with a significant other, possessing photo identification, being employed, health, and having dependent children that live with the respondent, all decreased (with varying degrees of strength) the likelihood that a homeless individual would commit suicide.


Applying; Durkheim; Durkheim, Emile; Homeless; Las Vegas; Nevada; Populations; Suicide

Controlled Subject

Sociology; Social structure

File Format


File Size

2375.68 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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