Adolescent violence screening in the ED

Am J Emerg Med. 2006 Sep;24(5):582-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2006.04.004.


Youth violence is widely recognized as a major public health problem. Adolescent suicidality (ideation, behavior, or both) is disturbingly common in the United States, and homicide remains one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 10 to 24 years. Assessing youth suicidality and homicidality in the emergency department (ED) is a complex and challenging task. Evidence about the value of available ED risk assessments is not encouraging. Attempts to develop models that predict violence have in part been unsuccessful from the fact that ideation is common and the value of depression is hard to determine. The current study presents an empirically based assessment (adolescent and child urgent threat evaluation) and algorithm (violence ideation and suicidality treatment algorithm) evaluating the impact of ideation and nonideation states on attempt among clinical samples, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitor akathisia and acute adjustment disorders. The authors suggest important time-related factors and easy-to-administer procedures when assessing near-future youth violence. A validated suicide-homicide final common pathway model is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Homicide / prevention & control
  • Homicide / psychology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Violence / psychology*