Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors Among Youths in Juvenile Detention

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Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors Among Youths in Juvenile Detention

Category: Suicide, Youth|Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (full text)|Author: D King, J Choe, J Washburn, K Abram, L Teplin, M Dulcan|Year: 2008

Objective

To examine suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, lethality of suicide attempts, and the relationship between psychiatric disorder and recent attempts in newly detained juveniles.

 

 

Method

The sample included 1,829 juveniles, ages 10 to 18 years, sampled after intake to a detention center in Chicago. Interviewers administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children to assess for thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, suicide plans, lifetime suicide attempts, number of attempts, age at first attempt, attempts within the past 6 months, method of suicide attempts, and psychiatric disorder.

 

 

Results

More than one third of juvenile detainees and nearly half of females had felt hopeless or thought about death in the 6 months before detention. Approximately 1 in 10 (10.3%, 95% confidence interval: 7.7%-12.8%) juvenile detainees had thought about committing suicide in the past 6 months, and 1 in 10 (11.0%, 95% confidence interval: 8.3%-13.7%) had ever attempted suicide. Recent suicide attempts were most prevalent in females and youths with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

 

 

Conclusions

Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their ideation. Identifying youths at risk for suicide, especially those suffering from depressive and anxiety disorders, is a crucial step in preventing suicide.

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