Year: 2022 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2022). 26(4), 1958–1965. SIEC No: 20221092
Objective: Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth and is of public health importance. Characteristics and precipitating circumstances may differ by adolescent age groups. Understanding these differences may inform prevention efforts that are population-specific. Therefore, we sought to compare suicides between younger and older adolescents in Virginia from 2008 to 2017. Methods: We used data from the Virginia Violent Death Reporting System (VVDRS), part of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). We included suicides of all adolescents aged 10–17 who were residents of Virginia from 2008 to 2017. Descriptive statistics and unadjusted logistic regression were used to compare characteristics and circumstances between younger (10–14) and older (15–17) adolescents. Results: Three hundred and 24 (324) adolescents died by suicide between 2008 and 2017 in Virginia, of which 20% were younger adolescents, and 80% were older adolescents. Suicides of younger adolescents increased significantly over the 10-year period. Younger adolescent suicides seemed to occur after a crisis, while suicides among older adolescents occurred due to intimate partner problems and substance use. Mental health issues were common in both. Conclusions: Suicides may be more impulsive among younger adolescents and warrants further attention, while strategies to cope with intimate partner problems and substance use may be important for older adolescents and should be considered when implementing services and interventions.