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Title:Youth suicide education impact: Prevention through awareness and supportive adult resources
Author(s):Hicks, Barbara Barrett
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zaccaria, Joseph S.
Department / Program:Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Health
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:The two phases of the study were a survey of all senior students in three rural public and one urban parochial high schools and interviews of groups of senior students, some of whom also participated in the survey activities. Objectives of the research were: to add to the current profile of what youth know about suicide and to our knowledge of factors described by youth as preventive; to obtain a measure of knowledge change regarding suicide resulting from participation in an educational program and of the apparent willingness of students to access adult assistance for suicidal ideation; and to obtain a measure of numbers of students who did access adult assistance for suicidal ideation.
A total of 215 students participated in the study survey in Macon County, Illinois, 108 of whom also participated in an educational suicide prevention program. Additionally, 98 students and 22 parents cooperated in informal interviews discussing those factors which they perceived as preventive for youth suicidal behavior.
Analysis of survey data indicated that the majority of all participating students indicated an initially high level of knowledge about youth suicide prevention and helping resources. While there were some findings to indicate that exposure to an educational prevention program did increase student knowledge and willingness to access helping resources for suicidal ideation, there were also some findings to indicate that mere exposure to the pretest and posttest surveys stimulated similar changes. Additionally, there were some indications that a few students may have changed their responses in an undesirable or potentially harmful direction.
Analysis of data from the interviews with students revealed that they would ask for help for suicidal ideation from adults whom they trusted, including their parents. Most of the students reflected that they would seek help, rather than keep such information secret.
Study recommendations included the need for further research on differing methods of increasing student awareness regarding suicide, the relationship of student belief systems to student access of therapeutic professional assistance for suicidal ideation, youth perceptions of acceptance of appropriate helping resources, and youth-adult interpersonal dynamics as related to youth suicide prevention.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Hicks, Barbara Barrett
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124424
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124424

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