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Suicide and Substance Abuse Among Student Teachers

NCJ Number
Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 1998 Pages: 64-74
R L Trammel; S E R Kurpius; A Metha
Date Published
11 pages
Drug use among 369 student teachers who did or did not reported suicide ideation and suicide attempts was compared, based on data from Student Teacher Drug Use Survey (STDUS) instruments.
The participants included 90 male and 279 female students enrolled in a major southwestern university and completing their student teaching degree requirement. Ages ranged from 21 to 58 years and averaged 29.81 years. The instrument assessed knowledge, attitudes, and personal drug use within the last month and over the last year. The instrument also included five items that assessed knowledge of suicide warning signs, the person's own suicidal ideation, and whether the person had ever attempted suicide. Data were analyzed by means of the Hotelling-Lawley Trace test based on analysis of variance. Results revealed that short-term and long-term drug use behaviors were not related to suicide ideation. However, short-term drug-use rates were related to suicide attempts. Follow-up analyses of variance revealed that suicide attempters used significantly more marijuana in the last month than did those who did not attempt suicide. Findings indicated that student teachers need self-assessment regarding their own psychological vulnerability and at-risk behaviors, as well as specific training for working with at-risk youth. Table and 32 references (Author abstract modified)


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