2004
Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652

Abstract

Abstract

At the end of 2016, suicide among adolescents has been on the rise among Dutch youth. This finding highlights the importance of collecting relevant information concerning adolescent suicide. In this study, we will take a first step in collecting knowledge prior to this rise regarding the background, characteristics and precipitating factors of suicidality in Dutch youth in Amsterdam in the period between 1996 and 2010. Two types of files were collected; for suicides in Amsterdam, coroners’ files were collected (1996-2010). For suicide attempts, we collected medical files from the emergency room of a hospital in Amsterdam (2003-2006). Regarding suicides of young people, we mainly see young men between the ages of 18-23 who mainly died through hanging, jumping from height or in front of a train. Few other factors were recorded in the coroners’ files. Regarding suicide attempts, five themes were visible: 1) demographic and social factors; older adolescents and girls were strongly overrepresented, and a third of all attempters had a non-Dutch origin; 2) Stressful life events, particularly sexual abuse and parental divorce; 3) psychological issues and psychiatric disorders, especially depression and borderline personality; 4) trigger factors consisting of conflicts and disputes with parents or a partner and lastly, 5) previous self-harm or attempts were frequently noted. This study provides a very first indication of relevant factors that could assist in future research about the recent rise in Dutch adolescent suicide and guide prevention efforts. To generate more specific epidemiological knowledge, and in order to formulate prevention strategies more optimal data-gathering systems are needed that systematically take a wide range of known risk factors into account.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): coroner’s files; Dutch youth; hospital admissions; Suicide; suicide attempt
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