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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;47(1):41-52. doi: 10.1097/chi.0b013e31815896ad.

Suicide ideation, plan, and attempt in the Mexican adolescent mental health survey.

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National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico City, Mexico.



No representative data among adolescents in Mexico exist on the prevalence and risk factors for suicide ideation, plan, and attempt despite a recent increase in suicide deaths.


Data are presented from the Mexican Adolescent Mental Health Survey, a representative household survey of 3,005 adolescents ages 12 to 17 in metropolitan Mexico City who were gathered in 2005, regarding lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of suicide ideation, plan, and attempt and demographic and psychiatric disorders risk factors.


Lifetime ideation was reported by 11.5% of respondents, whereas 3.9% reported a lifetime plan and 3.1% a lifetime suicide attempt. Onset of suicidality started around age 10 and at age 15 showed the highest hazards. Suicide ideators were more likely to report a plan and attempt within the first year of onset of ideation. Suicidality was more likely to occur among females. The presence of one or more mental disorders was strongly related to suicide ideation, plan, and attempt. Among ideators only dysthymia was consistently related to a plan and attempt.


Intervention efforts should focus on assessment and target adolescents with mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, to be effective in prevention.

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