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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Oct;37(4):337.

Factors relating to adolescent suicidal behavior: a cross-sectional Malaysian school survey.

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Department of Community Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



This study was undertaken to examine factors relating to adolescent suicide behavior.


This was a cross-sectional school survey of 4,500 adolescent students based on a structured questionnaire. Data were collected using the supervised self-administered questionnaire (modified version of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance in the Malaysian National Language, Bahasa Malaysia).


Seven percent (312 of 4,454) of the adolescent students had seriously considered attempting suicide. Among the adolescents, 4.6% had attempted suicide at least once during the 12 months preceding the survey. Female adolescents were more likely to put their suicidal thoughts into suicidal action than were male adolescents. Malay and Indian people are more likely than the Chinese to respond, "Felt sad and hopeless." However, Malay adolescents had the lowest rate of attempted suicide. Based on multiple logistic regression, factors significantly related to urban adolescents' suicide behavior are "Felt sad or hopeless," "Number of days felt unsafe to go to school," "Riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol," "Physical fight," and "Number of days absent from school." In comparison, factors relating to rural adolescents' suicide behavior are "Felt sad or hopeless," "Physical fight," "Physical fight resulting in injury," and "Drive a vehicle after drinking alcohol."


Adolescent suicide behavior should be viewed as a serious problem. Measures can be taken to prevent suicide by looking at the factors significantly linked to suicidal behavior among adolescents. Steps can then be taken to identify adolescents who have serious suicidal ideation so that intervention can be taken to reduce the suicidal rate.

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