Volume 38, Issue 2 (2009)
School and Community Violence and Victimization as Predictors of Adolescent Suicidal Behavior
Amanda B. Nickerson, Evan D. Slater
Abstract. This study examined the extent to which violent behavior and peer victimization were associated with suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts in a nationally representative sample of 11,113 adolescents who completed the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Boys were more likely to be involved in physical fighting and weapon carrying, whereas girls were more likely to report suicidal behavior and feeling unsafe at school. Predictors of suicidal behavior for both male and female adolescents included carrying a weapon, being threatened or injured at school, having property stolen or damaged at school, and getting in a fight. Carrying a weapon and getting in fights in the community, but not in the school, were significantly associated with suicidal behavior for girls. Feeling unsafe in school was predictive of suicidal behavior for girls, but not for boys. Implications for practice, including the importance of coordinating violence and suicide prevention efforts, are discussed.
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