Associations between school climate, suicidal thoughts, and behaviors and ethnicity among middle school students

Tamika P. La Salle, Cixin Wang, Leandra Parris, Jacqueline A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationships between suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), school climate, and student demographics among middle school students. The study was conducted with a sample of 152,191 middle school students across 607 schools within 182 school districts in a southeastern state. Results support prior research that positive perceptions of school climate are associated with fewer reports of STB. Participants identified family reasons, bullying, peer problems, and “other” as the most common reasons for STB. Further, older students and males were more likely to engage in STB than their counterparts. When examining cross-sectional interactions, race/ethnicity moderated the relationship between school climate and STB. Findings from the study support the role of school psychologists in advocating for prevention and intervention STB supports for middle school students with particular attention to students who may be at increased risk based on group identification. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1301
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Volume54
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • multicultural considerations
  • school climate
  • suicidal thoughts and behaviors

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