Socio-demographic determinants of planning suicide and marijuana use among youths: are these patterns of behaviour causally related?
We analyse whether there is a causal relationship between planning suicide and marijuana use among US youths. To that end, we specify a simultaneous probability model which is estimated by maximum likelihood using the YRBS (1999 and 2001). We place emphasis on a number of socio-demographic risk determinants (gender, age, ethnicity, environmental and peer group factors). Our results confirm that marijuana use and planning suicide are not the result of a single determinant, but rather emerge from a complex interaction of many socio-demographic factors. Moreover, they suggest the presence of reverse causality, with this implying that marijuana use increases the probability of planning suicide and, similarly, that youths who plan to commit suicide exhibit a higher probability of using marijuana.
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