Suicide and Friendships among American Adolescents

Bearman, Peter Shawn; Moody, James

Although suicide rates for most subpopulations tend to be stable over time, the suicide rate among adolescents has risen dramatically in recent years. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 years. Although only 1 in 200 suicide attempts results in death, more than one third of all suicide attempts result in injuries serious enough to require professional treatment. Four percent of American adolescents reported at least 1 attempted suicide in the past year, and 13% of adolescents had seriously considered suicide at least once in the past year. The broader impact of suicide on adolescents is substantial. Twenty percent of adolescents reported knowing a friend who had attempted suicide in the past year, and 60% reported knowing a teenager who had ever attempted suicide. Because of this prevalence, it is critical that we understand the determinants of adolescent suicidality for effective identification of adolescents at risk.

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American Journal of Public Health

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Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics
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April 24, 2019