Publications Suicide Attempts in Children Aged 10–14 Years During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Une publication en accès libre grâce au soutien du RRSPQ octroyé suite au concours de soutien aux publications scientifiques 2022-2023. Félicitations à Nathalie Auger (UdeM) et collègues. In Journal of Adolescent Health (Mars 2023 - in press).

Autrices et auteurs

Nathalie Auger, Nancy Low, Nicholas Chadi, Mimi Israël, Howard Steiger, Antoine Lewin, Aimina Ayoub, Jessica Healy-Profitós, Thuy Mai Luu. 



To determine if suicide attempts increased during the first year of the pandemic among young adolescents in Quebec, Canada.


We analyzed children aged 10–14 years who were hospitalized for a suicide attempt between January 2000 and March 2021. We calculated age-specific and sex-specific suicide attempt rates and the proportion of hospitalizations for suicide attempts before and during the pandemic and compared rates with patients aged 15–19 years. We used interrupted time series regression to measure changes in rates during the first (March 2020 to August 2020) and second (September 2020 to March 2021) waves and difference-in-difference analysis to determine if the pandemic had a greater impact on girls than boys.


Suicide attempt rates decreased for children aged 10–14 years during the first wave. However, rates increased sharply during the second wave for girls, without changing for boys. Girls aged 10–14 years had an excess of 5.1 suicide attempts per 10,000 at the start of wave 2, with rates continuing to increase by 0.6 per 10,000 every month thereafter. Compared with the prepandemic period, the increase in the proportion of girls aged 10–14 years hospitalized for a suicide attempt was 2.2% greater than that of boys during wave 2. The pattern seen in girls aged 10–14 years was not present in girls aged 15–19 years.


Hospitalizations for suicide attempts among girls aged 10–14 years increased considerably during the second wave of the pandemic, compared with boys and older girls. Young adolescent girls may benefit from screening and targeted interventions to address suicidal behavior.


Le RRSPQ fête ses 20 ans !