Self-Inflicted Youth Violence in Latin America and the English-Speaking Caribbean
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Self-inflicted violence is a significant health problem and one of the leading causes of death in Latin America and the Caribbean. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in young people aged 10 to 19 (Pan American Health Organization, 2014). This fact sheet provides regional estimates of suicidal tendencies among youth aged 13-15 in Latin America and English-speaking Caribbean countries, using data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data. The regional estimates are divided here into four subregions— namely: the Andean countries, Central America, the English-speaking Caribbean, and the Southern Cone. The estimates were drawn from the most recent GSHS survey data for each country, with survey years ranging between 2007 and 2013.1,2 The analysis shows that, in general, female students are more likely than males to have suicidal tendencies, specifically seriously considering attempting suicide, suicide planning, and suicidal attempts. These behaviors are significantly influenced by alcohol use, parental relationship, and peer social support.3 This knowledge is important for devising comprehensive, context-specific prevention strategies that have been shown to be effective.
Category of PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019
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