The SOS Suicide Prevention Program: Further Evidence of Efficacy and Effectiveness
- 2.3k Downloads
This study replicated and extended previous evaluations of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention program in a high school population using a more rigorous pre-test post-test randomized control design than used in previous SOS evaluations in high schools (Aseltine and DeMartino 2004; Aseltine et al. 2007). SOS was presented to an ethnically diverse group of ninth grade students in technical high schools in Connecticut. After controlling for the pre-test reports of suicide behaviors, exposure to the SOS program was associated with significantly fewer self-reported suicide attempts in the 3 months following the program. Ninth grade students in the intervention group were approximately 64 % less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past 3 months compared with students in the control group. Similarly, exposure to the SOS program resulted in greater knowledge of depression and suicide and more favorable attitudes toward (1) intervening with friends who may be exhibiting signs of suicidal intent and (2) getting help for themselves if they were depressed or suicidal. In addition, high-risk SOS participants, defined as those with a lifetime history of suicide attempt, were significantly less likely to report planning a suicide in the 3 months following the program compared to lower-risk participants. Differential attrition is the most serious limitation of the study; participants in the intervention group who reported a suicide attempt in the previous 3 months at baseline were more likely to be missing at post-test than their counterparts in the control group.
KeywordsAdolescent Suicide Prevention Evaluation Schools
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Bogenschutz, M. P., Donovan, D. M., Adinoff, B., Crandall, C., Forcehimes, A. A., Lindblad, R., & Walker, R. (2011). Design of NIDA CTN protocol 0047: screening, motivational assessment, referral, and treatment in emergency departments (SMART-ED). The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 37, 417–425. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2011.596971.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Data retrieved from http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Default.aspx, Accessed on 6/13/12.
- Connecticut State Department of Education. (2007). Strategic school profile 2006-2007, Connecticut technical high school system. Retrieved from http://www.cttech.org/central/about-us/ssp/CTHSS%20Dist.pdf. accessed June 26, 2008.
- De Silva, S., Parker, A., Purcell, R., Callahan, P., Liu, P., & Hetrick, S. (2013). Mapping the evidence of prevention and intervention studies for suicidal and self-harming behaviors in young people. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34, 223–232. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Harel, O., Stratton, J., & Aseltine, R. H. (2011). Designed Missingness to Better Estimate Efficacy of Behavioral Studies. Paper presented at the Tenth Conference on Health Survey Research Methods, Hyattsville, MD.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, B., & Beam, L. (2008). Mobilizing extension for youth suicide prevention using the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program. Journal of Extension, 46, Article Number: 1TOT7.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, D. G., Brewer, M., & Klein-Benheim, M. (1999). Suicide assessment: overview and recommended protocol. In D. G. Jacobs (Ed.), Guide to suicide assessment and intervention (pp. 3–39). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Joiner, T. E., Jr. (2009). Suicide prevention in schools as viewed through the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior. School Psychology Review, 38, 244–248.Google Scholar
- Joiner, T. E., Jr., Conwell, Y., Fitzpatrick, K. K., Witte, T. K., Schmidt, N. B., Berlim, M. T., & Rudd, M. D. (2005). Four studies on how past and current suicidality relate even when “everything but the kitchen sink” is covaried. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114, 291–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kessler, R. C., & Greenberg, D. F. (1981). Linear panel analysis: Models of quantitative change. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
- Lester, D., Wood, P., Williams, C., & Haines, J. (2004). Motives for suicide—a study of Australian suicide notes. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 25, 33–34.Google Scholar
- Miller, D. N., Eckert, T. L., & Mazza, J. J. (2009). Suicide prevention programs in the schools: a review and public health perspective. School Psychology Review, 38, 168–188.Google Scholar
- Pena, J. B., Matthieu, M. M., Zayas, L. H., Masyn, K. E., & Caine, E. D. (2012). Co-occurring risk behaviors among white, black, and Hispanic US high school adolescents with suicide attempts requiring medical attention, 1999–2007: implications for future prevention initiatives. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47, 29–42. doi: 10.1007/s00127-010-0322-z.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robinson, J., Cox, G., Malone, A., Williamson, M., Baldwin, G., Fletcher, K., & O’Brien, M. (2013). A systematic review of school-based interventions aimed at preventing, treating, and responding to suicide-related behavior in young people. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34, 164–182. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rudd, M. D., Joiner, T., Brown, G. K., Cukrowicz, K., Jobes, D. A., Silverman, M., & Cordero, L. (2009). Informed consent with suicidal patients: Rethinking risks in (and out of) treatment. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 46, 459–468. doi: 10.1037/a0017902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2011). SAMHSA’s National registry of evidence-based programs and practices: SOS Signs of Suicide. Retrieved March 8, 2011 from http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=2053.
- Timmons, K. A., Selby, E. A., Lewinsohn, P. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2011). Parental displacement and adolescent suicidality: exploring the role of failed belonging. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 807–817. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2011.614584.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar