This investigation will determine the diagnostic profile of a consecutive series of 13-19 year old adolescents who commit suicide over a 3-year period within specified geographical limits in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area. The method to be used is a standardized interview applied to the parent or caretaker of the victim and to other informants including a member of the adolescent's peer group and a class teacher. Documents prepared during the youth's life time will also be examined. In order to examine whether suicide and attempted suicide in adolescents are markers of different conditions and in order to develop a sex and race standardized evaluation of the suicidal risk among attempted suicides, comparisons will be made with a group of age, sex, race and s.e.s. matched adolescents who have attempted suicide. The significance of allegedly causal or precipitating influences, such as a family history of affective disturbance, the use of drugs or alcohol, recent family losses, recent stress including pregnancy, family dysfunction and exposure to modeling or suicidal behavior in the adolescent's social circle or through the media will be examined through a second comparison group of similarly matched non-psychiatric """"""""normal"""""""" adolescents. Findings from the study should provide information about the prevalence of treatable conditions which lead to suicide; facilitate the development of a risk profile for adolescents who attempt suicide; and should delineate the specificity of various factors which have been held to be of etiologic significance in this increasing public health problem.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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New York State Psychiatric Institute
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Flisher, A J; Kramer, R A; Hoven, C W et al. (2000) Risk behavior in a community sample of children and adolescents. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 39:881-7
Velting, D M; Shaffer, D; Gould, M S et al. (1998) Parent-victim agreement in adolescent suicide research. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 37:1161-6
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Shaffer, D; Gould, M S; Fisher, P et al. (1996) Psychiatric diagnosis in child and adolescent suicide. Arch Gen Psychiatry 53:339-48
Shaffer, D; Fisher, P; Hicks, R H et al. (1995) Sexual orientation in adolescents who commit suicide. Suicide Life Threat Behav 25 Suppl:64-71
Shaffer, D; Gould, M; Hicks, R C (1994) Worsening suicide rate in black teenagers. Am J Psychiatry 151:1810-2
Shaffer, D; Garland, A; Gould, M et al. (1988) Preventing teenage suicide: a critical review. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 27:675-87
Gould, M S; Shaffer, D; Kleinman, M (1988) The impact of suicide in television movies: replication and commentary. Suicide Life Threat Behav 18:90-9

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