Date of Award

Winter 5-2-2019

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Degree Name

B.A./B.S.

Department

Family Medicine and Public Health Services

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Heather Dillaway

Abstract

Adolescent suicide has been of major concern in the past few decades, with the rates steadily increasing every year. Suicide can be defined as the act of intentionally taking one’s life. Adolescent refers to children between the age of 13 and 19, although the term will be used interchangeably with ‘teen’ throughout this paper. The purpose of this study had been to identify the risk factors of suicide associated with children of this age range, and propose preventative measures based on the modifiability of these risk factors. In order to achieve this, the two search catalogs utilized were the Wayne State Library and Google Scholar. Keywords included “adolescent suicide risk factors”, “teen suicide prevalence rates”, “alcohol abuse and teen suicide”, “mental illness and teen suicide”, “adolescent suicide demographics”, “teen sleep times and suicide”. Many articles that were found using Google Scholar that were restricted were later accessed through the Wayne State Library. Five common risk factors associated with adolescent suicide were investigated: demographics, alcohol abuse, mental health, bullying, and sleep deprivation. Demographics and mental illness suggest that males and older adolescents are more prone to suicide. Alcohol use show trends of younger adolescents partaking in substance abuse, which lead to an overall deterioration of health. Both bullying and sleep deprivation show females being affected the most, leading to a higher rate of suicide ideation and attempts. In order from most to least modifiable, the risk factors are sleep patterns, demographics, bullying, alcohol use, and mental health. More field work needs to be conducted, however, to test the true extent of the modifiability of each risk factor.

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