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Exploring Place-Based Differences in Suicide and Suicide-Related Outcomes Among North Carolina Adolescents and Young Adults

      Abstract

      Purpose

      Suicide is an ongoing public health crisis among youth and adolescents, and few studies have investigated the spatial patterning in the United States among this subpopulation. Potential precursors to suicide in this vulnerable group are also on the rise, including nonfatal self-injury.

      Methods

      This study uses emergency department data, death certificates, and violent death reporting system data for North Carolina from 2009 to 2018 to investigate spatial clusters of self-injury and suicide.

      Results

      Findings show that the demographic characteristics of individuals committing fatal and nonfatal self-injury are quite different. Self-injury and completed suicides exhibited different geographical patterns. Area-level measures like micropolitan status and measures of racial and income segregation predicted the presence of high-risk suicide clusters. Suicides among Native Americans and veteran status/military personnel also were associated with higher risk suicide clusters.

      Discussion

      Future interventions should target these specific high-risk locations for immediate reductions in adolescent and youth suicides.

      Keywords

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