Online Program

Analysis of the 1991-2013 Longitudinal Trends amongst U.S. High School Students who Attempted Suicide by Grade Level, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Emily Stearns, CHES, Department of Health and Recreation, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Erin Lein, Department of Health and Recreation, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Janet Douglas, Department of Health and Recreation, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Jiunn-Jye Sheu, MSPH, PhD, MCHES, Department of Health and Recreation, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Background: The third leading cause of death in the U.S., ages 10-24, is suicide. This study was designed to describe the longitudinal prevalence trends of high school students who attempted suicide one or more times and to compare them in the different grade levels, genders, and races/ethnicities (African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic/Latino). The research showed the vast majority of the literature either reported the trends of suicide attempts by grade, gender, or race/ethnicity separately or stratified by gender and race/ethnicity without grade levels.

Method: We created charts to compare longitudinal trends by the stratification of grade, gender, and 3 major race/ethnicity using YRBS 1991-2013 data.

Results: This research showed that girls have a higher suicide attempt rate than boys. Additionally, research showed that ninth graders had a higher attempt rate than other grades.  Regarding race and ethnicity, Hispanics were shown to have higher suicide attempt rates than Caucasians and African Americans. Hispanic 9th grade females had the highest suicide attempt rate overall. Further differences were identified by gender-grade-race/ethnicity stratified analyses.

Conclusions: The research shows that understanding the demographic characteristics of adolescents who attempt suicide may help improve treatment and prevention of future and completed attempts.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare the differences among U.S. high school students regarding suicide attempts. Identify differences within gender, grade, and race/ethnicity. Explain the grade-gender-race/ethnicity specific risk groups.

Keyword(s): Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a certified health education specialist with a bachelors degree in public health. I am pursuing my masters degree in public health as well at the University of Toledo. I am currently a research assistant for the department chair. I have researched this topic for an entire semester with the co-authors with the supervision of our professor.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.