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01-06-2006 | Uitgave 3/2006

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 3/2006

Vulnerability to Friends’ Suicide Influence: The Moderating Effects of Gender and Adolescent Depression

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 3/2006
Ruth X. Liu
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University. Has published in the areas of crime/delinquency, drug use/abuse, intergenerational processes, and psychosocial stress. Recent publications have appeared in Western Criminology Review, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Adolescent Research, and Youth and Society.
This paper examines whether severity of depression reduces or intensifies the relationship between friends’ suicide attempt and adolescent's own attempt to commit suicide, and whether there are gender differences in this interrelationship. Using logistic regression and data from a nationally representative sample of adolescents studied at 2 points in time, this study yielded significant findings. First, friends’ suicide attempt and adolescent depression each predicts adolescent's own attempt to commit suicide, and these effects are similar for both boys and girls. Second, highly depressed adolescents are less likely than low- or nondepressed adolescents to attempt suicide when their friends attempt suicide, and this relationship is observed mainly among adolescent boys. Finally, for adolescent girls, depression reduces the relationship between friends’ suicidal attempt and adolescent's own attempt but this effect is not statistically significant. These results are discussed in light of their theoretical importance and policy implications.

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