ERIC Number: ED299471
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Curbing Adolescent Suicide: Conditions, Symptomatic Behaviors, and Intervention Tactics.
Aldridge, Mary Nan
Increasing numbers of adolescents are experiencing deep depression and instances of adolescent suicide are increasing at a rate 10 times faster than for adults. Predisposition to suicide can be classified into three categories: biophysical, situational, and syndromatic. Adolescents suffering biophysical disorders are most easily identified by their deviant and dysfunctional behavior. The category most associated with social conditions is situational. The syndromatic category is associated with real or perceived change in status and may be exacerbated by the school. While a number of verbalizing, behavioral, and performance behaviors exist that typically signal an at-risk child, there is no identifiable sequence and the signs can appear together, over varying time periods, or without warning. The most easily recognized symptom is preoccupation with death and a declaration of hopelessness. Behavioral signs are more difficult to recognize as adolescents quite normally experience mood swings. When it is suspected that a child is suicidal, intent and lethality must be assessed. The individual should be confronted in a direct, non-threatening manner. Time is critical and confidentiality cannot be considered. Schools and teachers need to help youth gain personal confidence and look to the future with an optimistic attitude. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).