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J Adolesc Health. 2007 Mar;40(3):232-7.

Prospective associations between delinquency and suicidal behaviors in a nationally representative sample.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA. mpthomp@clemson.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examined the prospective associations between delinquency and suicidal behaviors among adolescents using a nationally representative sample.

METHODS:

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was used to assess the prospective associations between delinquency at ages 12-17 years and suicidal behaviors (ideation, attempts, treatment for attempts) 1 and 7 years later.

RESULTS:

Controlling for demographic variables, delinquency was prospectively associated with an increased risk for all three suicidal behaviors 1 year later, and to ideations and attempts 7 years later. After controlling for other risk factors (i.e., depression, self-esteem, problem drinking, impulsivity, religiosity), delinquency was still significantly related to an increased likelihood for suicidal ideation 1 and 7 years later, and to suicide attempts 1 year later. Further, delinquency was significantly related to suicidal ideation for girls more than for boys.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that delinquent youth, particularly delinquent girls, should be targeted in interventions to reduce suicidal behaviors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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