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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;54(1):34-46.

Prevalence and correlates of suicidal behaviour among adolescents in southwest Nigeria.

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College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.



Despite being recognized by the World Health Organization as a significant social and health concern, information on suicidal behaviours in Nigerian adolescents is unknown.


To establish the prevalence and associated psychosocial correlates of suicidal ideation and attempts in Nigerian youth.


Stratified sampling was used to identify youth aged 10-17 years who completed the Nigeria version of the Global School Health Questionnaire (GSHQ) and the Diagnostic Predictive Scale (DPS) for youths (suicidal behaviour questions) in a classroom setting.


A total of 1429 youth completed the instruments. Over 20% reported suicidal ideation and approximately 12% reported that they had attempted suicide in the last year. Adolescents living in urban areas, from polygamous or disrupted families, had higher rates of suicidal behaviour. Multiple psychosocial factors such as sexual abuse, physical attack and involvement in physical fights were significant predictors of suicidal behaviour.


Factors associated with suicidal ideation and behaviours are similar to those found in other studies but the rates of both suicidal ideation and attempts are towards the upper limit of rates for youth. This study suggests that there is an urgent need for Nigerian policymakers and health providers to review and address this issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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