Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Kahana, Boaz

Subject Headings

Teachers -- Training of -- United States, Teenagers -- Suicidal behavior, Risk-taking (Psychology) in adolescence, adolescent suicide, risk factors, preservice teachers, teachers


Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States. Given this, it is imperative that those who have regular contact with members of the youth population be able to recognize and identify those youth who are at risk for suicide. Part of the process of identifying suicidal adolescents requires having knowledge about adolescent suicide and about those factors that place certain adolescents at greater risk for completing suicide than others. One group of professionals who are in an optimal position to detect at-risk youth is schoolteachers. Fifty-four undergraduate students who were studying to obtain teaching licensure at a large public university completed the Adolescent Suicide Behavior Questionnaire (ASBQ), an instrument that measures knowledge about adolescent suicide across five content areas (Scouller & Smith, 2002 Smith & Scoullar, 2001).Undergraduate students also completed items from the eight clinical scales of the Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (SOQ), a measure that assesses attitudes toward suicide (Domino, 2005 Domino et al., 1982, 1988-89). On average, preservice teachers scored approximately 61 of ASBQ items correctly. Preservice teachers were the most informed about the warning signs of adolescent suicide and were the least informed about demographic and statistical information related to adolescent suicide. Preservice teachers in Middle Childhood and Secondary Education answered significantly more items correctly on the ASBQ than preservice teachers in Early Childhood Education. Preservice teachers with classroom teaching experience answered significantly more ASBQ items correctly than preservice teachers without this experience. Only 59.3 of all preservice teachers recognized that secondary school teachers are in a good position to detect the risk factors for suicide in their students. Responses to the SOQ indicated that preservice teachers were either conflicted or unsure about their attitudes toward suicide along several different attitudinal dimensions. Howev

Included in

Psychology Commons