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Wednesday, 6th June 2007

Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Suicide Attempts Among Urban Teenagers

Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Suicide Attempts Among Urban Teenagers
Source: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Our research provides further evidence of the association between dating violence and suicide attempts among adolescent girls and of the association between sexual assault and suicide attempts among adolescent boys. Our study is unique in evaluating these relationships in a population of predominantly minority urban youth and in evaluating violence victimization, while controlling for multiple potential confounding factors, in a single model. While our study focused on public high school students in a single urban area, our results are likely generalizable to urban youth across the United States. Our findings are of concern because dating violence and sexual assault are highly prevalent among urban youth. Teenagers reporting violence victimization are at increased risk for suicide attempts. Questions about violence, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidality are all extremely important and should be included as part of a comprehensive health assessment of adolescents. Furthermore, clinicians, educators, and other professionals working with youth should be trained to routinely screen for violence victimization and should have a low threshold for referring these at-risk teenagers for mental health services.


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