Background Suicide is a leading cause of mortality among adolescents. Low-income country settings are characterised by a lack of data on suicidal behaviours.
Aims/Objectives/Purpose This study examined correlates for suicidal ideation (SI), and suicidal planning (SP), among a sample of adolescents in low-income sub Saharan setting.
Methods Data were derived from the 2006 Global School-Based Health Survey. Information was included on 2154 students (52% female) ages 11–16 years. Three groups were created: those with no suicidal behaviour/controls (N=1869); suicide ideation/SI (N=149); and those with a plan to carry out a suicide attempt/SP (N=136) each within a 12-month period. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were carried out using Stata 12 for Linux.
Results/Outcome After controlling for covariates, participants reporting SI were more lonely (RRR=2.33; CI 1.36 to 4.01), depressed (RRR=2.26; CI 1.56 to 3.27), and substance users (RRR=1.97; CI 1.12 to 3.48). A close relationship with parents was protective (RRR=0.52; CI 0.31 to 0.86). Those who reported SP were younger (RRR=0.74; CI 0.62 to 0.90), less poor (RRR=0.53; CI 0.29 to 0.98) and more likely to be lonely (RRR=2.76; CI 1.55 to 4.90) and depressed (RRR=3.98; CI 2.71 to 5.86). Tobacco (RRR=2.15; CI 1.22 to 3.78), illicit substance use (RRR=1.99; CI 1.10 to 3.60) and over-protective parents (RRR=2.15; CI 1.07 to 4.31) were associated with increased SP. Respondents without friends were more likely to report SP (RRR=3.68; CI 2.22 to 6.08).
Significance/Contribution to the Field Our findings provide an important first look into suicidal behaviour among adolescents in Tanzania. These results should be used to inform mental health promotion efforts and strategies within the region.
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