Background: Suicide has become a major threat to achieving Sustainable Development Goals three and four, especially for school-going adolescents worldwide. As part of efforts to prevent suicide, population-based studies regarding the prevalence and variables that predict suicidal behaviours are required to inform decisions. Despite this realisation, Samoa lacks empirical data on suicidal behaviours among adolescents. We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2017 Global School-based Student Health Survey to examine the prevalence of suicidal behaviours (idea, plan, and attempt) of school-going adolescents in Samoa.
Results: The prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt was 24.1%, 23.8%, and 21.8%, respectively. Also, we found that having understanding parents was an important protective factor against all three suicidal behaviours among Samoan in-school adolescents. Suicidal ideation was predicted by cigarette smoking, having someone who smokes in adolescents’ presence, bullying, loneliness, and worrying about things they could not study. Also, cigarette smoking, bullying, having multiple sexual partners, and worrying increased the risk of having suicidal plans. Again, adolescents’ suicidal attempt was predicted by adolescent truancy, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, being bullied, having close friends, loneliness, and worry.
Conclusions: Rather than focusing on the school setting alone, suicide prevention interventions in Samoa should foster interdisciplinary collaborations to help reduce suicide.