Violence victimization and suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12-15 years from thirty-eight low- and middle-income countries

Smith, Lee and McDermott, Daragh T. and Jacob, Louis and Barnett, Yvonne A. and Butler, Laurie T. and Shin, Jae Il and Koyanagi, Ai (2020) Violence victimization and suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12-15 years from thirty-eight low- and middle-income countries. General Hospital Psychiatry, 66. pp. 147-153. ISSN 1873-7714

[img] Text
Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (676kB)
Official URL:


Objective: The association between violence victimization and suicide attempts in a large representative sample of adolescents from low- and middle-income-countries (LMICs) of multiple continents has never been investigated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between being a victim of physical attacks (independent variable) and suicide attempts (dependent variable) in a sample of 117,472 students aged 12–15 years [mean (SD) age 13.8 (0.9) years; girls 49.4%] from thirty-eight LMICs in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) were analyzed. Self-reported data on past 12-month suicide attempts and exposure to physical attacks were collected. Logistic regression and meta-analysis were conducted. Results: The overall prevalence of suicide attempts and physical attacks were 10.1% and 39.4%, respectively. Overall, the results of the meta-analysis based on country-wise estimates adjusted for potential confounders (i.e., age, sex, food insecurity, alcohol consumption, bullying victimization, anxiety-induced sleep problems, low parental support/involvement, loneliness) showed that physical attacks were associated with a 1.71 (95%CI = 1.62–1.81) times higher odds for suicide attempt. Conclusions: In this large sample of adolescents from multiple LMICs, violence victimization was associated with significantly increased odds of suicide attempts. Future longitudinal studies are required to assess causality, and whether addressing exposure to violence can positively impact on adolescent suicide rates.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Victimization, Suicide, Global, Adolescents, Violence, Low- and middle-income countries, Epidemiology
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 09:29
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 17:56

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item