Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to identify gender differences in self- reported suicidal beh avior in relation to risk factors among seventh through twelfth grade students (N=3,461). Data were gathered from the Survey Instrument of Attitude/Behavior administered in a school district located in a medium size Midwest city. Factor analyses reduced the 100 item survey to fifteen independent factors: cigarette use, smokeless tobacco use, alcohol use, alcohol behavior, hard drug use, marijuana use, over-the-counter drug use, school misconduct, academic difficulties, home environment, miscommunication with parents, unfair/strict rules of parents, sexual activity, forcible sex, and violence. The dependent variables were suicidal activity and suicidal tendency. Stepwise forward regression ordered the independent factors in predicting suicidal activity and suicidal tendency for the total, male, and female samples. In addition, logistic regression determined the probabilities of these factors in predicting suicidal tendency for the total, male, and female samples.

The comparison of regression results revealed that the independent factors accounted for more variance in male suicidal activity and tendency than in female suicidal activity and tendency. The stepwise regression results for the males and females displayed similarities in the predictors for suicidal activity. However, gender differences were revealed in the leading predictors for suicidal tendency. Although the leading predictor of school misconduct was the same, the next significant predictors for males were forcible sex, unfair/strict rules, and home environment, whereas for females they were over-the-counter drug use, unfair/strict rules, and cigarette use.

The comparison of logistic regression results revealed several differences between gender in increasing the predictability of suicidal tendency. The leading factors for males were forcible sex , school misconduct, unfair/strict rules, home environment, over-the-counter drug use, and academic difficulties, while for females the leading factors were over-the- counter drug use, cigarette use, forcible sex, unfair/strict rules, school misconduct, home environment, and miscommunication with parents.