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Adolescent Suicidality and Adult Support: The Reach for Health Study of Urban Youth

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Objective: To examine suicidality among urban youth and its relationship to patterns of adult support. Methods: Study surveyed 879 adolescents. Suicide ideation and attempts, perceived adult support, family and formal network availability, and network activation were assessed. Results: Only half of those reporting a suicide attempt had spoken with an adult about their distress. Suicide attempters were more likely than nonattempters to report they would not go to family members in the future, although they were more likely to report a past discussion. Conclusion: Improving communication among youth, families, and service providers should be a focus of suicide prevention planning.

Keywords: adolescence; help seeking; minority health; social support; suicide

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), Newton MA.

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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