Introduction: Research on suicide in childhood and early adolescence is sparse. We investigated suicide cases of children and young adolescents in terms of prevalence, gender differences, suicide methods and monthly distribution during a period of 32 years. Methods: Registered suicides aged 14 or younger occurring between 1970 and 2001 (n = 275) in Austria were studied. Results: The mean suicide rate for 10 to 14-year-olds was 1.4 per 100,000 with a male-female ratio of 3.1:1. The total child and young adolescent suicide rate and boys' suicide rates decreased over the study period. However, there was no significant fluctuation in girls' suicide rates. Hanging was the predominant suicide method in both genders. Use of this method decreased steadily over the study period, whereas the percentage of suicides by other methods, i.e., jumping and firearms suicides increased. Greater number of suicides in children and young adolescents was observed during the months of April/May and October/November. Conclusion: Suicide rates of children and young adolescents in Austria are on the decrease, in accordance with a reported decrease in the general suicide rate in Austria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health