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SURVEY FINDS 1 IN 20 TEENS HAS TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF

SHARE SURVEY FINDS 1 IN 20 TEENS HAS TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF

One in 20 teenagers says he has tried to commit suicide, and one in eight says he has at least considered it, a survey found.

The Gallup Organization study said 5 percent of American teenagers say they have tried to commit suicide and 12 percent say they have come close to trying.The study is a follow-up to a 1991 Gallup survey, which found that 6 percent of teenagers had tried to commit suicide and 15 percent came close to trying.

The new poll was conducted nationwide in April and May among a random sample of 903 youngsters ages 13 to 19, who filled out confidential questionnaires.

The sample's average family income was above $50,000, had more white teenagers than the general population and had 43 percent reporting one or both parents as college-educated.

George Gallup Jr., co-chairman of the polling company, said the results were adjusted to account for that upscale profile, which other experts said might result in underestimates of the problem.

The poll released Wednesday, co-sponsored by Gallup's non-profit institute and Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.