Adolescents' experience with and response to suicidal peers

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Fall 1992;22(3):315-21.


The present study investigated a sample of 325 suburban high school students' knowledge of suicidal peers, whether they had ever talked to a suicidal peer, and, if so, what they actually did in that situation. Sixty-eight percent of the females and 42.5% of the males reported knowing a teen who had committed or attempted suicide. Ninety-seven students reported having talked to a peer who was definitely considering suicide; of these, 63% talked to their peer about his or her concerns, 24.7% told an adult, and 12% did nothing in response to the encounter. Ninth graders were significantly more likely to do nothing as compared to eleventh graders. A mixed pattern of results was found as to the relationship of the response of youth to suicidal peers and their general experience with suicidal peers. The results confirm the importance of adolescents themselves for the prevention of youth suicide, and the need to convince adolescents to report at-risk peers to an adult.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Schools
  • Sex Factors
  • Students / psychology
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide / psychology