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The issue of suicide and suicidal behavior in children and adolescents is a significant mental health issue. Using the most current data from 2001, suicide is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States for youths between the ages of 10 and 19 (after automobile accidents and homicide); and in some states suicide is ranked second with homicide ranked third as the leading cause of death in 15- to 19-year-old adolescents.

Suicide, however, is only one behavior among a spectrum of behaviors that represent the suicidal behavior continuum (Reynolds & Mazza, 1994). The suicidal behavior continuum consists of suicidal ideation, suicidal intent, suicide attempt(s), and death caused by suicide, with suicidal ideation at the beginning of the continuum and suicide itself at ...

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