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, 39 (1), 64-76

Has Adolescent Suicidality Decreased in the United States? Data From Two National Samples of Adolescents Interviewed in 1995 and 2005

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Has Adolescent Suicidality Decreased in the United States? Data From Two National Samples of Adolescents Interviewed in 1995 and 2005

Kate B Wolitzky-Taylor et al. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol.

Abstract

We compared the prevalence and correlates of adolescent suicidal ideation and attempts in two nationally representative probability samples of adolescents interviewed in 1995 (National Survey of Adolescents; N = 4,023) and 2005 (National Survey of Adolescents-Replication; N = 3,614). Participants in both samples completed a telephone survey that assessed major depressive episode (MDE), post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation and attempts, violence exposure, and substance use. Results demonstrated that the lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation among adolescents was lower in 2005 than 1995, whereas the prevalence of suicide attempts remained stable. MDE was the strongest predictor of suicidality in both samples. In addition, several demographic, substance use, and violence exposure variables were significantly associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempts in both samples, with female gender, nonexperimental drug use, and direct violence exposure being consistent risk factors in both samples.

Figures

FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1
Suicide deaths in girls from 1992 to 2004 and suicide deaths in boys from 1992 to 2004. Note: Data taken from the Centers for Disease Control National Vital Statistics System.
FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2
Prevalence estimates of suicidal ideation from 1995 to 2005 for each gender/age subgroup.

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