JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Protective factors relating to decreased risks of adolescent suicidal behaviour

Y Cheng, M Tao, L Riley, L Kann, L Ye, X Tian, B Tian, J Hu, D Chen
Child: Care, Health and Development 2009, 35 (3): 313-22
19397597

BACKGROUND: Suicide has been identified as one of the three leading causes of death in adolescents and young adults. No previous study in China has tested the association between protective factors and urban adolescents' suicidal behaviours. In this study we tested the hypothesis that suicidal behaviours would be associated with multiple protective factors.

METHODS: A stratified random of 9015 students from 100 junior middle schools in Beijing, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Urumqi completed the Chinese version of Global School-Based Student Health Survey.

RESULTS: Overall, 17.4% of students had seriously considered attempting suicide, and 8.1% had made a specific plan to attempt suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey. The students in Wuhan (18.7%) and Urumqi (20.8%) cities were significantly more likely than students in Beijing (14.4%) and Hangzhou (14.4%) to have suicidal ideation (chi2 = 45.9, P < 0.001). Female students were significantly more likely than male students to have suicidal ideation and have made suicide attempts [odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, P < 0.001]. Results indicated that the rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts increased with age (OR = 1.44, P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression models showed that suicide risk tended to decrease significantly when 'days of missed classes or school without permission were less than one', and when students thought students in their school were kind and helpful most of the time or always', 'parents or guardians checked to see if homework was done most of the time or always', 'parents or guardians understood their problems and worries most of the time or always' and 'parents or guardians really know what they are doing with their free time most of the time or always'.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent suicide behaviour should be a serious problem. Measures can be taken to prevent suicide by observing the factors significantly linked to suicidal behaviour. Steps can then be taken to identify adolescents who have serious suicidal ideation so that intervention can be taken to reduce the suicidal rate.

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