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J Sch Health. 1994 Nov;64(9):361-7.

Discriminating suicide ideation among high-risk youth.

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Reconnecting At-Risk Youth Research Program, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


This study examined the hypothesis that among one group of high-risk youth--potential high school dropouts--key psychosocial factors would distinguish adolescents endorsing high suicide ideation from those who do not. Survey data compared high-risk youth with high suicide ideation (n = 43) with randomly selected samples of high-risk (n = 43) and "typical" youth (n = 42) without high suicide ideation. Repeat sampling of comparison groups verified results. Compared to high-risk and typical youth without suicide ideation, high-risk youth with high suicide ideation reported more psychosocial distress, problems with drug involvement, and disrupted family relations. They also described more unmet school goals and perceived a greater likelihood of dropping out of school. Discriminant analysis revealed that depression and low self-esteem were most effective in distinguishing between high-risk youth with and without high suicide ideation; family strain, anger, stress, and drug involvement also were differentiating factors. Implications for school-based screening and prevention programs are discussed within the context of the findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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