Neighborhood Characteristics and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior: Evidence from a Population-based Study

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Abstract

Research on the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and adolescents' risk of nonfatal suicidal behavior is scarce. We used California survey data to examine associations between measures of objective neighborhood quality (levels of violent crime, property crime, and socioeconomic disadvantage) and subjective neighborhood quality (perceptions of neighborhood safety and social cohesion) and adolescents' self-reported suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Objective measures of neighborhood quality were unrelated to adolescents' risk of suicidal behavior. However, adolescents who perceived their neighborhoods to be less safe and less cohesive were 20%–45% more likely than nonsuicidal peers to report suicidal ideation and attempt.

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