Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Peter Anderson


Suicide, ranked as one of the top five causes of death among adolescents, aged 15 to 19, claims numerous lives within the state of New York. Driven by the social cognitive theory, the objective of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to investigate the association among being offered, sold, or given illegal drugs, illegal drug use, being bullied, age, gender, ethnicity, suicidal ideation, and attempted suicide among adolescents in New York. The Centers for Disease Control 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data for 89,068 New York adolescents, Grades 9-12, were utilized in this study. There was increased risk of suicide ideation among those who were offered/sold/given drugs on school property (OR = 1.665), used heroin (OR = 2.735 - 4.186), Hispanic/Latino (OR = 1.466) or American Indian/Alaskan Native (OR = 1.802), aged 12 or younger (OR = 6.762), were bullied (OR = 2.728), and female (OR = 2.248). There was an increased risk of attempted suicide among those who were offered/sold/given drugs (OR = 1.578), currently used marijuana on a monthly basis or more (OR = 1.366-1.634), used heroin (OR = 5.023-20.267), aged 12 or younger (OR = 3.209), Black (OR = 1.443), Hispanics/Latino (OR = 1.976), American Indian/Alaskan Native (OR = 2.497), or of multiple races (OR = 2.121), were bullied (OR = 2.032) and female (OR = 1.822). These results served to support all the study's alternative hypotheses and the theoretical foundation of this study, and were consistent with findings of previous research. This study has implications for positive social change: the results could be used by Public Health practitioners to affect adolescent suicidal ideation and potentially suicide with the possibility of reducing adolescent morbidity and mortality.