Adolescent suicide attempts in the United States: When suicide ideation and suicide capability interact

Carolina Vélez-Grau, Meghan Romanelli, Michael A. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Guided by the interpersonal theory of suicide, this study examined whether the relationship between level of suicide ideation and attempted suicide varies as a function of suicide capability. Methods: Cross-sectional data were obtained from the 2017 and 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in which 28,442 respondents were sampled. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to create a latent suicide capability variable. Structural equation modeling was used to test the moderating effects of suicide capability on the relationship between level of suicide ideation and attempted suicide, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, sadness/hopelessness, and the sampling design. Results: Compared to adolescent with no reported ideation, those reporting single and dual ideation experienced increased odds of attempted suicide. The relationship between level of suicide ideation and attempted suicide significantly varied as a function of capability. While adolescents with dual suicide ideation experienced higher rates of attempted suicide at increasing levels of capability, faster rates of change of attempted suicide at increasing levels of capability were observed among those with single and no reported ideation. Conclusion: Capability may heighten the risk of suicide attempts among youth, suggesting that treatment efforts could be directed at reducing exposure to painful and provocative experiences associated with suicide behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • suicide attempt
  • suicide capability
  • suicide ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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