TitleAdolescents at Risk: Depression, Low Academic Performance, Violence and Alcohol Increase Bolivian Teenager’s Risk of Attempted Suicide
AuthorsDearden K., De La Cruz N., Crookston B., Novilla M. L. B., Clark M.
PublicationInternational Electronic Journal of Health Education. 2005 Jun; 8(1):104-119.
AbstractThis paper describes the prevalence of depression and suicidal tendencies as well as risk factors for attempted suicide among students in Bolivia. Adolescents 13-18 years old (182 females, 394 males) from randomly selected schools in La Paz completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Frequencies and logistic regression were used to identify factors—including academic performance, violence, and sex—associated with suicidal attempts. One fourth (26.9%) of females and one in ten males (8.9%) attempted suicide at least once. Depression was highly correlated with suicidal attempts. Additional risk factors for females included ethnicity, low academic performance, violence (including forced sex), and drinking. Females who experienced forced sex and who drank 20 or more days in their life were 20.1 (95% CI: 2.3, 178.7) and 37.3 (95% CI: 4.7, 297.2) times more likely respectively than females without these risks to attempt suicide. An additional risk factor for males included being threatened or injured with a weapon. For parents, school administrators, policy makers and program planners this study represents an important step toward identifying risk factors for attempted suicide and for developing prevention programs.