Psycho-Social Determinants of Youths’ Suicidal Behaviors: Mixed-Methods Approach

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Mai Mohammed El Sayed Abozaid et al.


Background: By nature, youths are more attracted to suicidal behaviors and less able to generate alternatives when faced with stress; suicide accounts for approximately one-third of all deaths among youths. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate psycho-social risk and protective factors associated with suicidal behaviors among youth. Subjects and methods: A concurrent mixed-methods descriptive study was used, where 364 youths were enrolled using a stratified multi-stage cluster sampling technique. Focus group discussions were conducted to explore youths’ perception of suicidal behaviors. Four tools were used to collect quantitative data. They were: Youth Profile Questionnaire composed of two parts (Socio-demographic Data & Youth Characteristics), Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), Risk Factors Questionnaire composed of three parts (Life Stressors Questionnaire, Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire [INQ], and NEO-Five Factor Inventory [NEO-FFI]), and Protective Factors Questionnaire including (Resilience Scale & Multi-dimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support [MSPSS]). Results: Qualitative findings were discussed under two main categories: risk factors leading to suicidal behaviors (behaviors, emotional distress, interpersonal influences, constant pressures, and inescapable difficulties), and factors protecting against suicidal behaviors (individual and societal factors). Quantitative findings revealed that life stressors, interpersonal needs, and neuroticism were statistically significantly positively associated with suicidal behaviors, while resilience and perceived social support had a statistically significantly negative association. Conclusion: This mixed-methods approach underscored the role of psychosocial determinants in youths’ suicidal behaviors. It also suggests tailoring of psychosocial determinants in youths’ suicide prevention efforts.

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