The Social Context of Adolescent Suicide Attempts: Interactive Effects of Parent, Peer, and School Social Relations


  • This work was supported by a core development grant to Golan Shahar (Principal Investigator) and Chrostopher Henrich (Co-Principal Investigator) from the Yale University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to Michael Merson, MD (No. P30 MH 62294). The research is based on data from the Add Health project, a project designed by J. Richard Udry (PI) and Peter Bearman, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with cooperative funding participation by: the National Cancer Institute; the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; the National Institute of Drug Abuse; The National Institute of General Medical Sciences; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute of Nursing Research; the Office of AIDS Research, NIH; the Office of Research on Women's Health, NIH; the Office of Population Affairs, DHHS; the National Center for Health Statistics, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS; the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS; and the National Science Foundation.

St. Joseph's Healthcare, Centre for Mountain Health Services—MHR, 100 West 5th St., Hamilton, Ontario Canada, L8N 3K7; E-mail:


An ecological developmental model of adolescent suicidality was used to inform a hierarchical logistic regression analysis of longitudinal interactions between parent, peer, and school relations and suicide attempts. Reanalyzing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, it was found that parent relations were the most consistent protective factor, and among boys with prior suicide attempts, school relations augmented the effects of parent relations when peer relations were low. Results indicated the need to understand suicidal behavior as a component of interactive social processes in the design of clinical interventions.