ERIC Number: ED335561
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Suicidal Behavior among Early Adolescents.
Gover, F. Jill
There is a great deal of concern about teenage suicide. This study obtained a prevalence rate of suicidal behaviors among non-psychiatric early adolescents (ages 11-16) and investigated personal and family variables that may characterize the young teenagers who report varying degrees of suicidal behavior. A self-report questionnaire was distributed to 456 adolescents in four schools in three contrasting geographic locations (urban, suburban, and rural). The questionnaire examined behaviors related to suicide, including: substance use; parental substance use; domestic violence; parent/teenager conflict; sexual abuse; running away; perfectionistic beliefs; and alienation from family. Respondents were divided into three groups: non-suicidal, ideators/planners, and attempters. The findings suggest that a large portion of young people consider suicide, and that a significant number of those people will go on to attempt suicide. The results indicated that more than one-half of suicide attempters reported feelings of alienation from family, alcohol use, and conflict with stepfathers for those in blended families. Analysis also indicated that the prevalence of suicidal behavior in an early adolescent was substantially greater than in children. Females attempted suicide more than males in a 7:1 ratio. The findings of this study strongly support the premise that middle school early adolescents (ages 11-15) do exhibit suicidal behavior in frequencies high enough to justify implementing a suicide prevention program at that level. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the California Peer Counseling Association (7th, Anaheim, CA, March 4-5, 1991).