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.