Individual, Family, School, And Community Predictors Of High School Male Suicidal Behaviors: An Analysis Of 2010 Iowa Youth Survey Data
Youth suicide is a public health issue and the second leading cause of death for young Iowans ages 15 to 24 years, with young males six times more likely to die than their female peers (Iowa Department of Public Health, 2009). Suicide among adolescents is a complex issue, but there are patterns of individual, family, school, and community influences that contribute to the likelihood a young person will think about, plan, or attempt suicide. Examination of those patterns reveals that adolescent males have a different constellation of risk and protective factors impacting their likelihood of suicide (Kelly, Lynch, Donovan, & Clark, 2001) than adolescent females. Using Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) bioecological model of human development, the purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which the macrosystem of race/ethnicity, and the microsystems of individual (risk behaviors of substance use and anti-social choices, and resilient behavior of self-determination), family (family engagement), school (school connectedness), and community (community support) predicted the suicide behaviors of intent or attempt in 11th grade males in the state of Iowa. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated each of the variables was predictive of either suicide intent or attempt, with substance use, anti-social choices, self-determination, family engagement, and school connectedness predictive of both of the suicidal behaviors. This study provides information about predictors of suicidal behaviors among young males, which can lead to the development of targeted strategies for prevention. Recommendations for policy and practice are provided for individual, family, school, and community interventions.
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