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Crisis. 2008;29(4):216-8.

Bullying and suicide attempts among adolescents kept in custody.

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University of Macedonia, Department of Social and Educational Policy, Greece.


This contribution explores the associations between suicide attempts; bullying; and the familial, educational, legal, and institutional characteristics of young offenders in custody. The sample was 152 randomly selected male young offenders aged 16-21 years (M = 18.9, SD = 1.3) years from the largest young offenders' institution in Scotland, who completed structured personal interviews. Rates of reported suicide attempts were significantly higher in the population of young offenders than reported rates from general population samples. Being in residential care, the presence of a social worker for the family, family history of alcohol abuse, family history of suicide attempts, the experience of being bullied in custody, contact with a psychologist in the community, and being a violent offender were significantly related to increased risk of suicide attempts in custody. Compared to those who were not bullied, offenders who were bullied in custody were 9.22 times more likely to attempt suicide. The implications these findings for reducing bullying in penal settings are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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