ERIC Number: ED263470
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Children's Suicidal Thinking: An Empirical Inquiry.
Bailey, Bruce E.; And Others
Although over 5,000 children and adolescents commit suicide annually, little is known about suicidal thinking of normal children. Due to ethical considerations, researchers must be sensitive to the possibility that they could introduce suicide as an option to a child. A methodology was developed to examine suicidal thinking through projected suicide ideation. Children (N=1,303) between the ages of 3 and 19 were asked to identify three things they believed a character in a scenario would be thinking about doing. Eighteen scenarios were used which varied according to age and sex of the character, and their adverse life situation (cancer victim, in trouble with the law and at home, accident victim). The results indicated that children entering sixth grade spontaneously identified suicide as an option for the character. In a follow-up study, 285 adolescents completed the scenario activity and were then asked whether they had ever attempted or thought about any of the responses they projected onto the scenario character. The results indicated that 65 percent of these adolescents projected suicide as an option for the scenario character, 54 percent of these suicide projectors reported having thought about suicide, and 4 percent of suicide projectors (N=11) had actually attempted suicide themselves. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).