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Type: Journal article
Title: Life-time and current suicide-ideation in Australian secondary school students: socio-demographic, health and psychological predictors
Author: Delfabbro, P.
Winefield, H.
Winefield, A.
Citation: Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013; 151(2):514-524
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0165-0327
Statement of
Paul H. Delfabbro, Helen R. Winefield, Anthony H. Winefield
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study involved a multi-level analysis of factors related to self-reported suicidality (both current and life-time) in adolescents METHODS: A sample of 2552 students aged 14-16 years answered questions relating to demographics, social and familial functioning, psychological well-being and suicidality. RESULTS: Suicidality, defined as being at least some element of reported suicide ideation, Behaviourally, suicidality was also more likely if students smoked, drank alcohol without adult supervision or if they took illicit drugs was more likely in girls, and in those with poorer social, family and psychological functioning. Behaviourally, suicidality was also more likely if students smoked, drank alcohol or took illicit drugs. Multi-level modelling showed that negative affect, substance use and the presence of romantic relationships were most strongly associated with suicidality. Both current and life-time measures of suicidality showed similar results. Both models suggested that the presence of substance use in teenagers is a potentially useful indicator of elevated suicide risk and that many of the social problems commonly associated with suicidality are likely to be mediated by negative affective states. LIMITATIONS: The study had several limitations. First, it was cross-sectional so it was not possible to examine how variables measured at one time predicted subsequent suicidality. Second, the present analyses were based on a single measure of suicidality that did not differentiate between ideation and attempts. Thus, the analyses did not indicate the severity of the suicidality: whether it involved ideation or actual attempts. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent girls and adolescents with poor social and family functioning and those who engage in substance use are at risk of suicidal ideation (a known precursor of suicide attempts). School counsellors and teachers need to be aware of the risks.
Keywords: Suicidality; predictors; high school students
Rights: © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020137829
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.06.036
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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