Student recognition of and response to suicidal peers

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Summer 1990;20(2):164-76.


A survey of 1,131 university freshmen revealed that they were able to recognize suicidal behavior in their peers, but were unsure of a helpful response to make to them. A model of self-efficacy, emotional comfort, knowledge of a helpful response, and knowledge of suicidal behavior predicted a student's intention to ask a suicidal peer directly, "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" (R2 = .38). Results of the study suggest that suicide prevention programs for adolescents should include educational experiences such as modeling, skill training, and role playing to increase self-efficacy and emotional comfort in affect-laden situations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology*