An ecological risk-factor examination of suicide ideation and behavior of adolescents

Daniel F. Perkins, Glen Hartless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Using an ecological risk-factor approach, this study sought to identify risk factors related to suicidal behavior in a sample of 14,922 adolescents (11,027 European American adolescents and 3,895 African American adolescents) drawn from Michigan. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine significant predictors and to calculate a cumulative risk analysis. For both African American and European American males, risk factors related to frequent suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior were found at three levels of the social ecology: individual, family, and extrafamilial. Risk factors were also detected at all three levels of the ecology for both African American and European American females in terms of suicide attempts but not in terms of frequent suicidal thoughts. More similarities were found between the two ethnic groups and between males and females in terms of risk factors for suicidal ideation and attempted suicide. Results lend support to the use of an ecological risk-factor model for examining suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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