Friday, October 31, 2008

Poverty ups youth suicide risk

A study of 2,779 teenagers in Canada, carried out as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth looked into the risk factors for suicide attempts in this age group and in particular the impact of poverty. Poverty levels in the children's neighbourhoods were measured in early and mid-adolescence based on census data and at 18 or 19 the participants were asked whether they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Among teenagers from all backgrounds hyperactivity and impulsivity, depression, substance use, low social support, exposure to suicide and negative life events all led to an increase in sucidality but in children from poorer neighbourhoods the effects of hyperactivity and impulsivity were accentuated. Youths from poorer neighbourhoods were twice as likely to report suicidal thoughts as their peers from more affluent neighbourhoods and four times as likely to actually make a suicide attempt.

You can find out more about this research at

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