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Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature

NCJ Number
244425
Date Published
September 2013
Length
23 pages
Annotation
This paper presents the results of a literature review of studies that examined suicidal ideation and behavior among youth in the juvenile justice system.
Abstract
This paper, prepared by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, presents the results of a literature review of studies that examined suicidal ideation and behavior among youth in the juvenile justice system. The review identified 16 studies that met the criteria for inclusion: the studies examined the history of both suicidal ideation and attempts via self-report. The studies sampled youth at various points of contact within the juvenile justice system: post-arrest, pre-adjudicated intake to detention, in detention, post-adjudication, and combined points of contact. Details from the studies' results on suicidal ideation and behavior are discussed for the following issues: suicidal ideation; recent suicidal ideation, past-year suicidal ideation; lifetime suicidal ideation; suicidal behavior; recent suicide attempts; past-year suicide attempts; and lifetime suicide attempts. The studies also focused on the impact of gender and ethnicity on rates of suicidal ideation and behavior. Highlights from the studies cover recent suicidal ideation, past-year suicidal ideation, recent suicide attempts, past-year suicide attempts, and lifetime suicide attempts. The final section of the report includes recommendations for future research: 1) determine the incidence of suicide among juvenile justice youth; 2) incorporate variables on suicidal ideation and attempts in studies of juvenile justice populations; 3) further examine mutable risk and protective factors in order to develop effective preventive interventions; 4) sample youth at different points of contact in the juvenile justice system; 5) evaluate the effectiveness of preventive interventions; and 6) further evaluate screening tools and procedures to detect suicidal ideation and behavior in the juvenile justice system. Appendixes and references