Dimensionality of thoughts of death and suicide: Evidence from a study of homeless adolescents

Kevin A. Yoder, Les B. Whitbeck, Dan R. Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Dimensionality
  • Homeless adolescents
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Thoughts of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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