Public Health Aspects of Suicide in Children and Adolescents

By Nazeer, Ahsan | International Public Health Journal, October 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Public Health Aspects of Suicide in Children and Adolescents


Nazeer, Ahsan, International Public Health Journal


Introduction

Child and adolescent suicide is a complex global public health problem that has intrigued researchers, academicians and policy makers for decades. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death; an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 1 million people worldwide die of suicide. Global suicide rates have increased drastically, and lost U.S. productivity due to suicide is now estimated at $12 billion per year. The World Health Organization and United States (US) government have taken numerous steps toward establishing policies and prevention strategies, including calls for expanded collection of suicide data. Suicide also is one of the major causes of death in the adolescent population.

Despite the fact that progress has been made in our understanding of risk factors for suicide, it remains a major global medical burden. Among the 4 million suicide attempts yearly, about 90,000 adolescents succeed, averaging one successful attempt every 5 minutes; the cumulative result is that suicide is the 5th leading cause of adolescent death worldwide. In the following review, we will examine the current research on prevalence, risk factors and prevention strategies.

Epidemiology

The U.S. adolescent suicide rate gradually increased during the 20th century, becoming more marked during the 1960s and reaching an overall peak in the 1990s, although there have been other significant peaks and troughs. Although adolescent suicide rates stabilized during the late 1990s, they had increased by 250% between 1960 and 1980 and doubled between 1960 and 2001. Since the late 1990s, the suicide rate has declined, reaching a 30-year low in 2003 (1). Numerous explanations for this reduction have been put forth, including earlier identification of at-risk teens, better and more focused delivery of mental health services to families in need and increased use of antidepressants. Unfortunately, this overall epidemiological trend shifted between 2000 and 2005, with a 14% increase in youth suicide during these years. This shift may have been due to reduced antidepressant prescribing amid the public health outcry and "black box" warnings regarding the association of antidepressant use with emergence of suicidal ideation.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published the National Suicide Statistics, with data updated to cover 2009, the latest year for which these numbers are available. According to the CDC, suicide rates declined in both sexes for the 1991-2000-time period but were consistently higher for 2001-2009. The CDC data also identifies numerous disturbing trends, including a 233% increase in suffocation suicide rates among females 10-24 years old. On the other hand, firearm suicide rates in females aged 10 to 24 years decreased from 1993 through 2007, while poisoning remained relatively constant at 0.48 suicides per 100,000 from 2002 to 2009. During 2005-2009, use of a firearm (29.7%) was the preferred mode of suicide among 1024 year-old males, but suffocation (48.5%) was more common among the equivalent female cohort. For the same group, firearms and suffocations caused the largest number of fatal self-injuries, while poisoning and cutting caused the fewest.

Demographically, group differences between males and females do not exist until mid-to-late adolescence (15-19 years), at which time the rate of suicide among males increases dramatically. During 2005-2009, the highest suicide rates were among American Indian/Alaskan Natives and Non-Hispanic Whites. Suffocation was the preferred method of suicide among American Indian/Alaskan Natives while Non-Hispanic Whites preferred firearms. Asian/Pacific Islanders had the lowest suicide rates among males, while Non-Hispanic Blacks had the lowest rates among females. In 2009, more female high school students planned (13% vs 8%) and attempted (8% vs 4%) suicide, as compared to their male peers (2).

Global suicide rates

Nationally recorded data on child and adolescent suicide must be interpreted with caution, as there are differences in data reporting among different nations. …

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

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Public Health Aspects of Suicide in Children and Adolescents
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.