, Volume 73, Issue 9, pp 783-788

Suicidal behaviors in adolescents

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Abstract

Objective. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempt are generally considered as non-fatal suicidal behaviors (NFSB) by most researchers. Across different cultures, the prevalence of NFSB has been found to be alarmingly high among adolescents. As there is no published study estimating prevalence rates in India, we conducted a study on adolescents in Delhi to find prevalence of NFSB and other related behaviors and to identify risk factors for NFSB.Methods: We collected data from 1205 adolescents in the age group from 12 to 19 years from 2 schools through semi-structured questionnaire on demographic variables, NFSB, death wish, deliberate self harm (DSH), Adjustment Inventory for School Students (AISS) by Sinha et al. & BDI.Results: Prevalence of suicidal ideation (lifetime), suicidal ideation (last year), suicide attempt (lifetime), suicide attempt (last year) were 21.7%, 11.7%, 8% and 3.5%, respectively. All the significant variables were entered into a logistic regression analysis model, and the adjusted odds ratios, with 95% confidence intervals, were obtained for them. Hindu religion, female sex, older adolescent, physical abuse by parents, feeling neglected by parents, history of running away from school, history of suicide by a friend, death wish and DSH were found to be significant risk factors for NFSB.Conclusions: There is high prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, death wish and deliberate self-harm in adolescent population of two schools in Delhi. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.