Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2008


Published in Social Indicators Research 86 (2008), pp. 83–100; doi 10.1007/s11205-007-9095-5 Copyright © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Used by permission.


This study used data from a sample of 444 homeless adolescents to determine whether thoughts of death and suicide form one construct (unidimensionality) or two distinct but correlated constructs (multi-dimensionality). Thoughts of death and suicide were common in the sample; over two-thirds of the adolescents positively endorsed at least one of the eight death-or suicide-related items. Evidence regarding dimensionality was mixed. Exploratory factor analysis results and similarity coefficients supported one construct; confirmatory factor analysis and external consistency results provided evidence for two constructs. The results were reconciled by considering suicidality as a continuum from thoughts of death to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.

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