Youth suicide risk factors and attitudes in New York and Vienna: A cross-cultural comparison

Kanita Dervic, Madelyn S. Gould, Gerhard Lenz, Marjorie Kleinman, Tuerkan Akkaya-Kalayci, Drew Velting, Gernot Sonneck, Max H. Friedrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of suicide risk factors and attitudes about suicide and help-seeking among New York and Viennese adolescents were compared in order to explore possible cross-cultural differences. Viennese adolescents exhibited higher rates of depressive symptomatology than their New York counterparts and had more first-hand experience with suicidal peers. More attribution of suicide to mental illness was reported in Vienna; yet Viennese youth were less likely than New York adolescents to recognize the seriousness of suicide threats. Help-seeking patterns of Viennese adolescents were influenced by their setting a high value on confidentiality. These cross-cultural differences may reflect the limited exposure of Austrian youth to school-based suicide prevention programs. The findings highlight the need of taking the sociocultural context into consideration in the planning of youth suicide prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-552
Number of pages14
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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