Characteristics of Mexican children and adolescents who died by suicide: A study of psychological autopsies.

Journal of forensic and legal medicine

PubMedID: 29035840

González-Castro TB, Tovilla-Zárate CA, Hernández-Díaz Y, Juárez-Rojop IE, León-Garibay AG, Guzmán-Priego CG, López-Narváez L, Frésan A. Characteristics of Mexican children and adolescents who died by suicide: A study of psychological autopsies. J Forensic Leg Med. 2017;52236-240.
OBJECTIVE
In recent years, suicide in children and adolescents has increased considerably, becoming the second cause of death in this age group. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify characteristics and factors that could precipitate deaths by suicide in children and adolescents.

METHODS
Using the psychological autopsy method, we studied 28 suicide cases of children and adolescents between 10 and 17 years old. Socio-demographic factors, characteristics of the suicide and family history were documented.

RESULTS
The proportion of deaths by suicide was the same in females and males (50% each). Most of the suicides were performed at the child/adolescent's home (78.6%) and no history of previous suicide attempts were registered (85.7%). Also, the majority of suicidal individuals came from a dysfunctional family (60.7%).

CONCLUSIONS
Our results identified characteristics of children and adolescents that had died by suicide, such as dying at their homes and coming from dysfunctional families. Knowing the characteristics of children and adolescents that had ended their lives by suicide should be considered in future studies to help developing preventive programs and strategies for treating suicidal behaviors in Mexican children and adolescents.