J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.  2020 Oct;31(4):169-176. 10.5765/jkacap.200030.

Classification of Adolescent Suicide Based on Student Suicide Reports

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Counseling Psychology, Jeonju University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 2Suicide and School Mental Health Institute, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University Sacred Hospital, Hallym University, Anyang, Korea
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Exploring the risk factors of adolescent suicide is important for effective suicide prevention. This study explored the clustering of adolescent suicides based on six risk factors: mental disorder, broken family, depression, anxiety, previous suicide attempts, and deviant behaviors. Using 173 student suicide reports obtained from the Ministry of Education, we evaluated the associations between suicide and variables related to mental disorders; dysfunctional family life; depression and anxiety; previous suicide attempts; deviant behaviors such as drinking and smoking; and school life characteristics, including attendance and discipline, problems within the past year, and incidents prior to suicide. In addition, reports of warning signs just before suicide were included in the analysis. The two-stage cluster analysis classified the students into three clusters: the silent type (cluster 1; 48.55%), in which no risk factors were observed; environmental-risk type (cluster 2: 24.28%), which featured a high frequency of broken households, deviant behaviors such as smoking/drinking and running away from home; and depressive type (cluster 3: 27.17%), which featured a high frequency of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. Identifying the sub-types of adolescent suicide may help to inform tailored suicide prevention and intervention strategies in school.

Keyword

Adolescent; Suicide; Risk factors; Cluster analysis
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