Risk factors for suicide attempts among Navajo adolescents

D. C. Grossman, B. C. Milligan, Richard (Rick) Deyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Rates of adolescent suicide in the United States are highest among Native Americans but little is known about risk factors for suicide attempts in this population. Methods: To identify risk factors for self-reported suicide attempts by Navajo adolescents, we analyzed the 1988 Indian Health Service Adolescent Health Survey that was administered to 7,254 students in grades 6 through 12 on the Navajo reservation. The responses of students reporting a past suicide attempt were compared to others. Results: Nearly 15 percent (N = 971) reported a previous suicide attempt; over half of those admitted to more than one attempt. Controlling for age, a logistic regression model revealed the following associations with suicide attempts: a history of mental health problems (OR = 3.2); alienation from family and community (OR = 3.2); having a friend who attempted suicide (OR = 2.8); weekly consumption of hard liquor (OR = 2.7); a family history of a suicide or attempt (OR = 2.3); poor self-perception of health (OR = 2.2); a history of physical abuse (OR = 1.9); female gender (OR = 1.7); and sexual abuse (OR = 1.5). Conclusions: Efforts to prevent adolescent suicide attempts in this population should target individuals with those risk factors of the highest risk and prevalence of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-874
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume81
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Suicide
United States Indian Health Service
Logistic Models
Students
Attempted Suicide
North American Indians
Health Services Needs and Demand
Sex Offenses
Health Surveys
Self Concept
Mental Health
Health
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Risk factors for suicide attempts among Navajo adolescents. / Grossman, D. C.; Milligan, B. C.; Deyo, Richard (Rick).

In: American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 81, No. 7, 1991, p. 870-874.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Grossman, D. C. ; Milligan, B. C. ; Deyo, Richard (Rick). / Risk factors for suicide attempts among Navajo adolescents. In: American Journal of Public Health. 1991 ; Vol. 81, No. 7. pp. 870-874.
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