Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Previous suicidal ideation and attempt are the strongest predictors of subsequent completed suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among youth today. Research shows that the risk factors for adolescent suicidal behaviors can be grouped into demographic, social, and psychological categories, so a broad theoretical framework is needed to examine the range of these factors’ effects. In this study, Agnew’s general strain theory is tested to explain those suicidal behaviors among adolescents in Istanbul, Turkey. Agnew argued that specific strains were more likely to lead to deviance, therefore a corresponding set of strains are selected. He also argued that these strains lead to deviance through negative affective states. The effects of these strains on suicidal ideation and suicidal attempt including tests of mediating effects of negative affective states on relationships between strains and these suicidal behaviors are investigated using data from the 2008 Youth in Europe Survey. Separate logistic regressions indicate that almost all of the strain measures were significantly associated with adolescent suicidal ideation and suicidal attempt, and negative affective measures partially mediated the effects of strains on Turkish adolescents’ suicidal behaviors. In general, findings are consistent with previous research that have identified various risk factors for suicidality, but also adds to the literature by incorporating multilevel factors into a single theory. Other results, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Barton, Michael S.



Included in

Sociology Commons