, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 752-757
Date: 16 May 2008

Attempted suicide and associated risk factors among youth in urban Japan

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Abstract

Background

Suicide is a major social and health issue in Japan. We assessed prevalence of attempted suicide and explored individual, interpersonal, behavioral, and psychological risk factors associated with attempted suicide in a general community sample of youth in a metropolitan Japanese city.

Method

Survey of 2,095 participants age between 15 and 24 who were recruited using street-intercept techniques.

Results

Overall, 6% of males and 11% of females reported a prior suicide attempt. For males, attempted suicide was independently associated with experience of school bullying, being homosexual or bisexual, history of drug use, experience of unwanted sex, history of a diagnosed sexually transmitted infection, and low self-esteem. For females, attempted suicide was independently associated with being younger (ages 15–19 compared to 20–24), experience of school bullying, history of drug use, and history of smoking.

Conclusion

Prevention intervention programs for youth in Japan are necessary to achieve national aims to reduce attempted suicides and suicide mortality.