Year: 2019 Source: Social Work in Public Health. (2019). 34(7), 570-582, DOI: 10.1080/19371918.2019.1635945 SIEC No: 20190835

Suicidal behaviors among adolescents in the United States are the second leading cause of death and has been steadily increasing over the years. Although access to and possession of a weapon may facilitate the transition from suicidal ideation to a suicide attempt, few studies have examined the association between weapon carrying and suicide attempts among adolescents. The objective of this study was to examine the association between weapon carrying on school property and suicide attempt among adolescents. Data for this study came from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A sample of 14,547 adolescents aged 14–18 years old (50.5% female) was analyzed using logistic regression. Of the 14,547 adolescents, 4% carried a weapon on school property, and 7.7% attempted suicide during the past 12 months. In the multivariate logistic regression, adolescents who reported carrying a weapon on school property had more than double the odds of attempting suicide when compared to their counterparts who did not carry a weapon on school property. Other significant predictors of suicide attempt include sexual minority, history of forced sexual intercourse, school bullying and cyberbullying victimization, feeling sad or hopeless, and substance use. Examining the association between weapon carrying and suicide attempt among adolescents would contribute to early identification of adolescents who are likely to engage in suicidal behaviors.