Measurement Choices for Youth Suicidality

Danielle R. Busby, Jennifer L. Hughes, Mallory Walters, Adannaya Ihediwa, Michel Adeniran, Lynnel Goodman, Taryn L. Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Suicide is among the leading causes of death among individuals ages 10–24, making suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) a serious public health crisis among youth. Suicide risk screening and assessment are vital to addressing this public health crisis. In fact, many youths that screen positive for suicidal ideation do not have known mental health concerns and would have been missed if not asked directly. Medical settings are an optimal setting to detect suicidality early and provide appropriate follow-up monitoring and care as needed. To support effective and efficient screening and assessment of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, providers must choose measures with both strong psychometric properties and clinical utility. While measurement of STBs can vary across health settings, suicide risk screening and assessment typically involves gathering information about current suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviors, and suicidal plans via self-report questionnaires, clinical interviews, and/or computerized adaptive screens. In alignment with measurement-based care efforts, the current manuscript will provide a scoping review of measures of youth suicidal ideation, behavior, plans, and their risk factors. Specifically, the psychometric properties, clinical utility, and other key considerations for screening and assessment of adolescent suicide risk are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Psychometric properties
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Suicide risk screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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