group of Hong Kong psychiatrists and psychologists (T. P.
Ho, P. W. L. Leung, S. F. Hung, C. C. Lee, C. P. Tang) used
the CBCL/4-18, YSR, and other measures to assess 1,920 students
attending high schools where there were recent student suicides
or no suicides. In both kinds of schools, students were
also identified who were peers of recent suicide attempters.
Combining data from the CBCL and YSR, Ho et al. found
thatamong peers of suicide completers and attempterstwice
as many scored in the clinical range (20 to 26%) on Internalizing,
Externalizing, and total problems than among students who
were not peers of suicide completers or attempters. Odds
ratios showed that these differences remained highly significant
at p < .001 after controlling for demographic
and risk factors, including social adversity, poor parent-child
relationships, and life events. In addition, youths having
close relationships with suicide attempters had especially
high Externalizing scores, whereas youths having close relationships
with suicide completers had especially high Internalizing
scores, after controlling for demographic and risk factors.
Ho et al. concluded that mental health services are
needed not only by peers of suicide completers but also
by peers of suicide attempters. The findings showed that
peers of suicide attempters have high levels of norm-violating
Externalizing problems, whereas peers of suicide completers
have high levels of Internalizing problems.
Reference: Ho, T. P., Leung, P. W. L., Hung,
S. F., Lee, C. C., & Tang, C. P. (2000). The mental
health of the peers of suicide completers and attempters.
Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 41,