Suicide-related ideations and behaviors in adolescence : exploring predictors in middle childhood
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not risk and protective factors (socioeconomic status, social connectedness, negative reactivity temperament, approach/withdrawal temperament, social acceptance competence, behavioral conduct competence, and global self-worth) measured in middle childhood would statistically predict the prevalence of suicide-related ideations and behaviors in high school. This study highlights the importance of examining a population of this age range prior to entering a critical developmental stage, shown to be at increase the risk for suicide. Due to the growing rates of suicide in adolescence, the objective is for this population to be regarded as a main target of future suicide prevention and intervention techniques. As such, the current study examined specific risk and protective factors in middle childhood with the goal to help identify a profile for adolescents in high school at risk for future suicide-related ideations and behaviors or to determine those who have developed protection against this health-risk behavior. The sample for this study was taken from two larger longitudinal studies with student participants from three rural school districts of central Texas. The data were analyzed using binary logistic and multiple linear regression analysis. While the findings of this study revealed statistically significant relationships between three out of the seven predictive variables (self-connectedness, global self-worth, and behavioral conduct competence), the results were not robust. Given the minimal significance of these exploratory findings, further analysis is suggested before development of intervention programs is warranted.