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02.02.2019 | Original article | Ausgabe 2/2019

International Journal of Public Health 2/2019

Suicidal thoughts in low-income adolescents: a longitudinal analysis

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 2/2019
C. Thomas Farrell, Zaiba Moledina, Madhuri Katta
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is part of the special issue “Adolescent transitions”.

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The aim of this study was to identify whether suicidal ideation in low-income adolescents is influenced by social environment and social support.


We performed a growth curve model using a sample of 6687 low-income adolescents living in the Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The outcome for the present study was whether the participant had thought about suicide in the past 12 months.


From 1998 to 2011, an average of 14.3% of the study participants indicated that they had considered killing themselves in the past 12 months on an annual basis (11.2–17.6%). Accounting for confounding factors, positive peer support, inevitability of violence, and having moved in the past year resulted in an increased risk, though the effect of inevitability of violence decreased over time. Meanwhile, elevated perceptions of contextual safety and increased parental warmth resulted in reduced risk. These findings suggest that social support and social context are important indicators of suicidal ideation in adolescents.


Suicidal ideation is an important predictor of suicidal behavior. If suicidal ideation can be prevented, or predicted, then it is possible that suicidal behavior can be reduced.

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Acknowledgement to Reviewers 2018