Suicidal ideation and behaviors among youths in juvenile detention

Karen M. Abram*, Jeanne Y. Choe, Jason J. Washburn, Linda A. Teplin, Devon C. King, Mina K. Dulcan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, lethality of suicide attempts, and the relationship between psychiatric disorder and recent attempts in newly detained juveniles. Method: The sample included 1,829 juveniles, ages 10 to 18 years, sampled after intake to a detention center in Chicago. Interviewers administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children to assess for thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, suicide plans, lifetime suicide attempts, number of attempts, age at first attempt, attempts within the past 6 months, method of suicide attempts, and psychiatric disorder. Results: More than one third of juvenile detainees and nearly half of females had felt hopeless or thought about death in the 6 months before detention. Approximately 1 in 10 (10.3%, 95% confidence interval: 7.7%-12.8%) juvenile detainees had thought about committing suicide in the past 6 months, and 1 in 10 (11.0%, 95% confidence interval: 8.3%-13.7%) had ever attempted suicide. Recent suicide attempts were most prevalent in females and youths with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Conclusions: Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their ideation. Identifying youths at risk for suicide, especially those suffering from depressive and anxiety disorders, is a crucial step in preventing suicide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Juvenile detainee
  • Psychiatric disorder
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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