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Suicidal behaviours are common among US adolescents and are associated with mental health disorders

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Question: What is the prevalence of non-fatal suicidal behaviours among US adolescents and what is their association with mental health disorders?

Population: About 6483 adolescents aged 13–18 years and their parents taking part in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NSC-A).

Setting: USA; years of study not reported.

Assessment: Data were collected through face-to-face household interviews with adolescents, and parent-completed questionnaires. Non-fatal suicidal behaviours were assessed using a modified suicidal behaviour module of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), which assesses lifetime occurrence of suicidal ideation and age of onset. Among those reporting ideation, suicide plans and attempts were assessed. Diagnoses of mental health disorders were derived using data from a modified version of CIDI, developed for adolescents and administered by trained lay interviewers.

Outcomes: Lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans and attempts. Assessment was made of the association between suicide behaviours and mental health disorders, which were categorised as fear and anger disorders (specific) phobia, panic disorder/agoraphobia, social phobia, intermittent explosive disorder; distress disorders (separation anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and/or …

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