School for Social Work
Youth-Suicidal behavior, Behavioral assessment, Youth, Suicide, Suicide assessment
Literature on youth suicide has identified this phenomenon as a national health problem and one that continues to be on the rise. Moreover, youth suicide has been identified as a serious problem for the last two decades. The purpose of this study was to determine if practice setting, specialized training, and/or graduate education influence both the method and frequency of suicide risk assessment by practicing clinicians who work with adolescents. A descriptive study design using an on-line data collection service was utilized (SurveyMonkey) to reach a non-probability sample of clinicians. The on-line survey was comprised of two sections. The first section consisted of demographic questions. The second section of the survey was comprised of descriptive data questions, yes or no questions, and open-ended questions. The sample was comprised of 40 clinicians. Looking at the sample the vast majority of participants were female (32 out of 40 respondents). The average age of the 40 participants was 41 years. Finally, participants' average length of time working with youth was 12 years. The major findings of this study indicate that at least for this sample the vast majority of clinicians assess their adolescent clients on a regular basis; 39 % assess their clients at every clinical interview, and 39 % report that they assess their clients several times throughout the course of treatment. However, the majority of clinicians (82%) report that they do not use a standard assessment tool. This indicates that the development of a universal suicide assessment tool would be beneficial to clinicians working in this field, but also to the clients that we treat.
Fisk, Corina L., "Preferred methods of assessing suicidality in youth" (2013). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.