Pottinger, Audrey M.; Milbourn, P.; Leiba, J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Depertment of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
Suicidal Behaviour and Risk Factors in Children and Adolescents in Jamaica
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Suicidal attempts and ideation were examined in children attending child and adolescent mental health clinics in the Kingston Metropolitan Area during October 1998 to September 1999. The case records of fifty-seven 6-18 year-olds were selected for review in order to identify social and familial factors that place Jamaican children and adolescents at risk for suicidal behaviour. In addition, in order to examine the consistency of risk factors, data from child and adolescent mental health clinics were compared over a ten-year period between 1989 and 1999. The results indicated that having a poor relationship with the primary caregiver was significantly associated with suicidal behaviour (p < 0.01) as well as experiencing abuse (p < 0.05). These children also tended to externalize their behaviours (p < 0.01). The findings suggest that, over the ten-year period, Jamaican children seem to be more readily talking about, contemplating and attempting, suicide. The importance of managing intrafamilial issues affecting children is highlighted.....