Dimensionality of Thoughts of Death and Suicide: Evidence From a Study of Homeless Adolescents
Yoder K A~~Whitbeck L B~~Hoyt D R
This study used data from a sample of 444 homeless adolescents to determine whether thoughts of death and suicide form one construct (unidimensionality) or two distinct but correlated constructs (multi-dimensionality). Thoughts of death and suicide were common in the sample; over two-thirds of the adolescents positively endorsed at least one of the eight death- or suicide-related items. Evidence regarding dimensionality was mixed. Exploratory factor analysis results and similarity coefficients supported one construct; confirmatory factor analysis and external consistency results provided evidence for two constructs. The results were reconciled by considering suicidality as a continuum from thoughts of death to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.