Suicidal behaviors in youth with foster care experience

Colleen C. Katz, Danielle R. Busby, Eden V. Wall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Youth with foster care experience are more likely than their peers outside of the system to report child maltreatment, mental illness, and inadequate social support. The interaction of these experiences likely contributes to the fact that these youth are twice as likely to engage in suicidal ideation and three times as likely to attempt suicide than their same-age peers in comparison populations (Evans et al., Children and Youth Services Review 82:122-129, 2017). Each of these adverse experiences maps onto the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior (IPTS; Joiner, Why people die by suicide. Harvard University Press, 2005), enabling greater insight into the potential mechanisms at work and targets of assessment and intervention. The need to investigate the effectiveness of promising interventions specifically with youth in foster care is clear and immediate. Further research in this area would help us to cultivate a better understanding of protection for these youth and, more importantly, reduce the likelihood that youth with foster care experience will feel the need to end their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Youth Suicide Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Research into Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030824655
ISBN (Print)9783030824648
StatePublished - Jan 11 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Foster care
  • Maltreatment
  • Mental illness
  • Social support
  • Suicidal behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine


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