Youth suicide: Prevention through risk management
Depressive Disorder, Major
September 11 Terrorist Attacks
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Risk factors for childhood and adolescent suicidal behavior are reviewed to point out important issues to focus suicide prevention strategies. Youth and family psychopathology involving suicidal behavior, violence, psychiatric disorders, including major depression, substance abuse, and psychosis, are the most significant risk factors for youth suicide and non-fatal suicidal acts. The availability of lethal means to commit suicide, especially guns and firearms, is a significant risk factor for youths, especially those without psychiatric disorders. Traits of impulsivity and cognitive concerns related to hopelessness and poor social adjustment increase suicide risk. Demographic characteristics, especially gender, age, and race/ethnicity, are associated with higher youth suicide rates. Contextual issues, including media exposure to suicide presentations and exposure to suicide of a peer or relative, increase the likelihood for suicidal ideation or suicidal acts. Prevention strategies should aim to decrease these risk factors by reliable methods of identification of risk factors, which can be targets for effective interventions. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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