The Cruelest Death: The Enigma of Adolescent Suicide

 

David Lester, PhD

The incidence of adolescent suicide has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. In fact, suicide is now the third leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. What has caused this teenage suicide epidemic? Why is it that so many young people want to end their lives?
In this book, eminent suicidologist David Lester offers a startling look at what we currently know about adolescent suicide and what we can do to prevent it, providing information useful to theory, research, practice and intervention. Through case studies and a detailed review of the literature, Lester opens the doors to understanding this tragedy and gives us the knowledge necessary for successful intervention.
This important book provides clinicians, crisis workers and parents with new insight that will enable them to initiate successful prevention strategies, on both a professional level and at home, and to have a reasonable chance to reverse this tragic trend.

CONTENTS

 

 1. Two Cases of Youth Suicide
 2. The Incidence of Adolescent Suicide
 3. Youth Suicide Around the World
 4. The Suicidal Act
 5. Psychiatric Illness and Adolescent Suicide
 6. Perinatal Influences on Adolescent Suicide
 7. Childhood Experiences and Suicide
 8. Suicide Clusters and Subcultures
 9. Double Suicides and Suicide Pacts
10. A Deviant Theory of Adolescent Suicide
11. Assessing Suicidality: A Chapter for the Professional
12. Treatment and Therapy
13. Helping Your Suicidal Child: A Chapter for Parents
14. Suicide Prevention in Schools
15. Coping with the Suicide of an Adolescent

REVIEWS

"The incidence of adolescent suicide has increased dramatically over the past twenty years. In fact, suicide is now the third leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. What are caused this teenage suicide epidemic? Why is it that so many young people want to end their lives? In this book, suicidologist David Lester presents a broad overview of current knowledge about the growing phenomenon of adolescent suicide and provides information useful to theory, research, practice, and intervention. Through the use of case studies and a comprehensive examination of the societal and peer pressures that plague young people, Lester improves our understanding of this enigma and provides tools for intervention.
"Chapters include: two cases of youth suicide; the incidence of adolescent suicide; youth suicide around the world; the suicidal act; psychiatric illness and adolescent suicide; perinatal influences on adolescent suicide; childhood experiences; suicide clusters and subcultures; double suicides and suicide pacts; a deviant theory of adolescent suicide; assessing suicidality: a chapter for the professional; treatment and therapy; helping your suicidal child: a chapter for parents (by Antoon A. Leenaars); suicide prevention in schools; and coping with the suicide of an adolescent."
— Adolescence
"Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States among persons under the age of 24. Noted suicidologist, lecturer and author David Lester addresses this growing phenomenon in the latest of his many works on the subject of suicide. All facets of adolescent suicide are covered, including a statistical overview; a review of possible causes and predictors of the suicidal impulse in young persons; suggestions for prevention, assessment, and treatment; and advice for survivors. Theoretical analysis is skillfully blended with case histories, and the unique aspects of adolescent suicide are stressed throughout. Thorough and current references conclude each chapter. An important contribution to the study of suicide, recommended for school, public and academic libraries."
— Library Journal
"Adolescent suicide remains an enigma today, despite advances in our understanding of adult suicidal behavior. In The Cruelest Death, Lester focuses on the unique qualities that characterize the adolescent suicide through the use of case studies and a comprehensive examination of the societal and peer pressures that plague young people. In this way, he opens the door to understanding this enigma and gives a better approach to intervention. This book provides clinicians, crisis workers and parents with new insight that will enable them to initiate prevention strategies, on both professional level and at home, and to have a reasonable chance to reverse this tragic trend."
— Thanatos

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Recently elected President of the American Association of Suicidology, Dr. Lester, who has studied suicide for nearly 50 years and is the recipient of the Dublin Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement from the American Association of Suicidology, has deservedly achieved worldwide recognition as one of the leading authorities on suicide. Past president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and currently Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Suicide in Blackwood, New Jersey, Dr. Lester is the author of more than 1500 articles and 60 books.

Softcover. 188 pages. ISBN: 0-914783-64-5. ISBN-13: 978-0914783-64-0. List Price: $24.95