Suicidal Ideation and its Correlates among Juvenile Delinquents in South Korea

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Objectives: This study investigated suicidal ideation and its correlates among juvenile delinquents in South Korea. Methods: Suicidal ideation, psychological health status, and health-related behaviors were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire in 1682 juvenile offenders aged between 15 and 18 years in 2012. Results: The prevalence of suicidal ideation in juvenile delinquents was 15.2%. Girls were more likely to report suicidal thoughts than boys (30.3% vs. 12.7%). Suicidal ideation was more common among adolescents who were not living with their family prior to entering detention centers (22.6% vs. 13.2%) than their counterparts. The likelihood of suicidal ideation was significantly associated with problem drinking [odds ratio (OR)=1.84], psychedelic drug use (OR=2.04), feeling unhappy (OR=3.05), feeling sad or depressed (OR=13.37) after controlling for sociodemographic factors, other health behaviors and perceptions. Conclusion: The present study provides evidence for an association between suicidal ideation and psychological health and health risk behaviors among juvenile delinquents. It also highlights the importance of mental health and behavioral interventions for this population to prevent suicidality.




Kim, S., Kim, H., Seo, D. C., Lee, D. H., & Cho, H. I. (2014). Suicidal Ideation and its Correlates among Juvenile Delinquents in South Korea. Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 5(5), 258–265.

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