Analysis of Suicide Risk Factors and Suicidal Self-Injury and Concurrent Health Risk Behaviors among Adolescents

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, March 2000 | Go to article overview
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Analysis of Suicide Risk Factors and Suicidal Self-Injury and Concurrent Health Risk Behaviors among Adolescents


Robert M. Weiler, University of Florida, Lisa N. Pealer, University of Cincinnati, and Carrie Murray, University of Florida

Reported suicide rates, while stable in the general population, have tripled among young adults in the last 40 years. From 1980--96, suicide rates increased by 14% among young adults ages 15 to 19, and 100% among adolescents ages 10 to 14. In his 1999 Call to Action, the Surgeon General noted that "more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease combined." This study examines suicide risk factors and suicidal self-injury and concurrent health risk behaviors among convenience samples of high school students. Data were collected during spring 1999 from 3,894 students in grades 9--12 attending 8 public and two private high schools within two Florida school districts using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) developed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The data were collected as part of two independent needs assessment projects for two school districts. The 1999 YRBS contained 86 demog raphic and health risk behavior items, including four questions about suicide risk factors and one question about suicidal self-injury.

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