Adolescent Suicide Attempters: Response to Suicide-Prevention Programs

David Shaffer, Veronica Vieland, Ann Garland, Mary Rojas, Maureen Underwood, Carey Busner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


As part of a controlled evaluation of three suicide-prevention curricula delivered to 1438 ninth- and 10th-grade students, 63 adolescents were identified as having made a suicide attempt. Their attitudes about suicide and help seeking were compared with those of 910 nonattempters drawn from the same population. Reaction to the prevention program was assessed by comparing the responses of the 35 attempters exposed to the programs with responses of 524 exposed nonattempters. The impact of the programs was assessed by comparing 35 exposed attempters with 28 attempters from a control group. Self-identified attempters were less likely to endorse views consistent with the curricula at baseline, but there was little evidence that the programs were successful in influencing these views. There was some evidence that previous attempters were more upset by the programs than their nonattempter peers. The prevalence of suicide attempts as defined in this study by self-report was higher than that reported in studies using interview techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3151-3155
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number24
StatePublished - 26 Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


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