Suicide among Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults - United States, 1980- 1992

Journal of School Health, September 1995 | Go to article overview

Suicide among Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults - United States, 1980- 1992


Suicide was the fifth leading cause of years of potential life lost before age 65 in 1990, according to unpublished data collected in 1995 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During 1980-1992, 67,369 persons age 25 and younger, (children, adolescents, and young adults) committed suicide and, in 1992, persons in this age group accounted for 16.4% of all suicides. From 1952-1992, the incidence of suicide among adolescents and young adults nearly tripled.[1] One national health objective for the year 2000 is to reduce the suicide rate for persons ages 15-19 by more than 25% to 8.2 per 100,000 persons (objective 7.2a).[2] This report summarizes trends in suicide among persons age 25 and younger from 1980-1992, the latest year for which complete data are available.

Trends in suicide among young persons were determined using final mortality data from the CDC's underlying cause of death files.[3] Suicides and methods of fatal injury were determined by using codes from International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision. Suicide rates were calculated using population data from the 1980 and 1990 census enumerations and intercensal year estimates compiled by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

From 1980-1992, the number and rate of suicides declined among persons younger than age 25 from 5,381 (5.7 per 100,000 persons) to 5,007 (5.4). For persons ages 20-24, the suicide rate declined 7.2% (from 16.1 to 14.9). In comparison, the rate increased among persons ages 15-19 by 28.3% (from 8.5 to 10.9) and among persons ages 10-14 by 120% (from 0.8 to 1.7). For persons ages 20-24, suicide rates declined for all racial and sex groups except Black males (Table 1). Because data for racial groups other than Black and White were too small for separate analysis, data for these groups were combined. Data on ethnicity were not analyzed because they were not available for the entire study period.

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

For persons ages 15-19, the suicide rate increased for all groups except males of other races; in particular, for Black males the rate increased 165.3% For persons ages 10-14, suicide rates increased substantially in all racial and sex groups.

In 1992, firearm-related deaths accounted for 64.9% of suicides among persons younger than age 25. Among persons ages 15-19, firearm-related suicides accounted for 81% of the increase in the overall rate from 1980-1992. During 1980-1992, among persons age 25 and younger, the proportions of suicides by poisoning, cutting, and other methods declined, while the proportions by firearms and hanging increased; hanging was the second most common method of suicide, followed by poisoning.

Editorial Note: Findings in this report are consistent with previous reports indicating the risk for suicide is greatest among young White males.[4] However, from 1980-1992, suicide rates increased most rapidly among young Black males. Although suicide among children is a rare event, the dramatic increase in the suicide rate among persons ages 10-14 underscores the urgent need for intensifying efforts to prevent suicide among persons in this age group.

The causes of suicide are multiple and complex. Potential reasons for the increase in suicides among some groups may reflect increasing interaction of risk factors including substance abuse; mental illness; impulsive, aggressive, and antisocial behavior; family influences, including a history of violence and family disruption; severe stress in school or social life; and rapid sociocultural change.[5] The increase in firearm-related suicide probably reflects increased access to firearms by the at-risk population.[6]

Most youth suicide-prevention programs are directed toward older adolescents and do not include outreach efforts for minorities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Suicide among Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults - United States, 1980- 1992
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.