Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Criminal Justice Administration


Previous research findings indicate that suicide among adolescents was the third leading cause of death in the United States between 1970 through 1980 exceeded only by accidents and homicides. An examination of the trends in youth suicide from 1970 though 1980 by age, race and sex disclosed that there was: (1) a significant difference in youth suicide rates by age, sex and race, and (2) there was a significant difference in method of suicide rates by age and sex. The male suicide rates for both races exceeded female rates. The highest rates of suicide were found among the 20-24 year old males. The 20-24 year old white males had the highest suicide rates. The most frequent method of suicide for males was by firearms and explosives, for females, poisoning by the injection of solid and liquid substances. No difference in method of suicide was found between the two age groups (15-19, 20-24). The major finding was that white males 20-24 were the most vulnerable to suicide; and therefore, the targeted group for suicidal counseling. Societal strains and stresses were probably the greatest for the age groups 20- 24; particularly for white males.