Adolescent suicide remains a major public health problem. Parenting behaviors can significantly impact the psychological well-being of youth. This study examined whether adolescent suicide differed based on specific parenting behaviors and whether the impact of such behaviors differed based on age of the adolescent. A secondary analysis of the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health was performed. Results indicated that adolescents who were female, older and who had parents who never/seldom performed authoritative parenting behaviors were at elevated risk for suicidal ideation, making a suicide plan and attempting suicide. The parenting behaviors placing adolescents at highest risk for all three suicide measures were never/seldom telling their children they were proud of them, never/seldom telling them they did a good job, and never/seldom helping them with their homework. The impact of these parenting behaviors on suicide was largest among younger adolescents (12–13 year olds). Results illustrate the critical importance of authoritative parenting in helping to protect adolescents from suicide. Findings may be beneficial to professionals aimed at developing efforts to prevent adolescent suicide. Parents should be educated on authoritative parenting and specific behaviors they can perform to protect youth against suicide.
- Mental health