Background: For youth probationers, it is important to understand how mental health and substance use predict their suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB) to identify interventions to reduce their psychological distress.
Objective: In this study, risk and protective factor indicators based on the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) Full Assessment were used to explore STB of youth probationers. The study's overarching aim was to examine the associations of psychological distress and other risk and protective factors with youth probationers' STB based on a Social Determinants of Health framework.
Method: This cross-sectional secondary analysis reviewed YASI records from a sample of 11,607 probationers of age 12-18 years within a large urban setting.
Results: The study used logistic regression models to assess risk and protective factors for STB odds (5.79%, n = 672 positive endorsement). African Americans were less likely to report STB, and girls were much more likely than boys to report STB across risk factors. Mental health disorders and substance use increased STB risk.
Conclusion: The findings underscore the need for screening and treatment of psychological distress for youth probationers. This study discussed these findings, strengths and limitations, and directions for future research.