Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reading Disabilities Put Students At Risk For Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior And Dropping Out Of School

Date:
November 3, 2006
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Teenagers with reading problems are at significantly higher risk for suicide and for dropping out of school than typical readers, according to a study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers.

Teenagers with reading problems are at significantly higher risk for suicide and for dropping out of school than typical readers, according to a study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers.

"In our study, poor readers were three times more likely than typical readers to consider or attempt suicide and six times more likely to drop out of school," said lead author Stephanie Sergent Daniel, Ph.D. "Educators and parents should be aware of the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior among adolescents with reading problems."

The results, reported today in the November issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities, are from a study of 188 students recruited from six public high schools at age 15. They were followed for a mean of 3.3 years.

Researchers initially screened 1,074 students and identified a sub-group willing to participate in the long-term study. From this group, they recruited a group of poor readers and a group of typical readers that were matched for gender and race.

Standard educational tests were used to measure single-word reading ability, one of several skills involved in reading. Students scoring in the lowest 18 percent were considered poor readers -- a cutoff commonly used to diagnose dyslexia. In addition, each student and his primary caretaker were interviewed by master's level trained research clinicians to assess psychiatric disorders and suicidal behaviors. The median length between interviews for students and parents was twelve months.

The follow-up interviews revealed that students with poor reading skills were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or attempts and were more likely to drop out of school. In addition, suicidal thoughts or attempts and school drop-out were strongly associated with each other.

The researchers found that psychiatric disorders were also related to thoughts of suicide and to school drop-out, but that poor reading was a risk factor on its own.

"Significant reading difficulties were independent of, or over and beyond, the risk from the psychiatric conditions," said Frank Wood, Ph.D., senior researcher. "Regardless of whether they have independent psychiatric disorders, these students begin to get depressed or suicidal in higher numbers than typical readers."

Previous studies have suggested that youths with learning disabilities are at increased risk of suicidal behavior. However, few studies have examined whether reading difficulties specifically are associated with suicide or whether there is a relationship between suicidal tendencies and school drop-out.

In addition to this study involving public school students, the researchers also noted a high suicide rate in a group of 50 randomly selected students with reading disabilities that they followed for 25 years. Four of the students died by suicide, a rate much higher than found in the general population.

However, Daniel said, "It is important to note that a significant number of students with reading problems did not drop out of school or have thoughts of suicide."

"More research is needed to determine which youths with poor reading might be most vulnerable to these outcomes and which factors might be associated with resilience in the face of the stresses of school problems and poor reading ability," she said.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. The preliminary results from this research were presented in 2002 at the American Association of Suicidology in Bethesda, Md., and this is the first publication of the research.

Other co-researchers were Adam Walsh, M.S.W., David Goldston, Ph.D., Elizabeth Arnold, Ph.D., and Beth Reboussin, Ph.D., all with Wake Forest Baptist at the time of the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Reading Disabilities Put Students At Risk For Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior And Dropping Out Of School." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101151341.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2006, November 3). Reading Disabilities Put Students At Risk For Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior And Dropping Out Of School. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101151341.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Reading Disabilities Put Students At Risk For Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior And Dropping Out Of School." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101151341.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins