Psychosocial Correlates of Suicidal Ideation in Rural South African Adolescents

H.N. Shilubane*, R.A.C. Ruiter, A.E.R. Bos, B. van den Borne, S. James, P.S. Reddy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Suicide is a prevalent problem among young people in Southern Africa, but prevention programs are largely absent. This survey aimed to identify the behavioral and psychosocial correlates of suicidal ideation among adolescents in Limpopo. A two-stage cluster sample design was used to establish a representative sample of 591 adolescents. Bivariate correlations and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. Findings show that suicidal ideation is prevalent among adolescents. The psychosocial factors perceived social support and negative feelings about the family and the behavioral factors forced sexual intercourse and physical violence by the partner were found to increase the risk of suicidal ideation. Depression mediated the relationship between these psychosocial and behavioral risk factors and suicidal ideation. This study increased our understanding of the psychosocial and behavioral predictors of adolescent suicidal ideation. The findings provide target points for future intervention programs and call for supportive structures to assist adolescents with suicidal ideation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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