Volume 46, Issue 4 (July 2001)

    Child and Adolescent Suicide in a Large, Urban Area: Psychological, Demographic, and Situational Factors

    (Received 5 June 2000; accepted 18 August 2000)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    We examined all completed suicides by children and adolescents in Los Angeles County who died during 1996 and 1997. There were 46 subjects, aged 11 through 16. The majority of the decedents were males and over age 14. The predominant racial group was Hispanic. There was an almost even split between firearms and hanging as the means of death. Females had a statistically significantly higher rate of prior suicide attempts than males. Over one-third left a suicide note, almost one-half were noted to be depressed, and 22% tested positive for alcohol or illicit drugs. Less than one-quarter were in mental health treatment. Eighty-seven percent had difficulty transitioning to or during adolescence; e.g., problems at home, legal and school difficulties, and relationship losses. These findings are discussed in terms of Eriksonian developmental theory. We offer recommendations for intervention and prevention of suicide.


    Author Information:

    Markowitz, E
    Clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California,

    Weinberger, LE
    Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

    Sathyavagiswaran, L
    Chief medical examiner-coroner, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner,

    Sreenivasan, S
    Clinical associate professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California,


    Stock #: JFS15066J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS15066J

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    Title Child and Adolescent Suicide in a Large, Urban Area: Psychological, Demographic, and Situational Factors
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30