Adolescent Predictors of Incidence and Persistence of Suicide-Related Outcomes in Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study of Mexican Youth

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Abstract

In recent years, Mexico has seen one of the largest increases in suicide rates worldwide, especially among adolescents and young adults. This study uses data from the 1,071 respondents who participated in a two-wave longitudinal study when they were between 12 and 17 years of age, and again when they were between 19 and 26 years of age. The World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed suicidal behavior and DSM-IV mental disorders. We used Cox regressions to evaluate which sociodemographic and psychiatric factors and life events predicted the incidence and remission of suicide ideation, plan, and attempt throughout the 8-year span. The 8-year incidence of suicide ideation, plan, and attempt was 13.3%, 4.8%, and 5.9%, respectively. We found that the number of traumatic life events during childhood, no longer being in school, and tobacco use predicted which adolescents developed suicide behaviors as they transitioned into young adulthood. Psychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety disorders, played a larger role in the persistence of those who already had suicidal behaviors, while behavioral disorders played a role in the transition from ideation to attempt. This distinction may be useful for clinicians to assess the risk of suicide.

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