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The rates of attempted and completed suicide increase dramatically with age throughout childhood into adolescence. Various explanations may account for this relationship, including elevated risk for psychopathology incurred during adolescence, increased capacity to prepare and execute a suicide plan with cognitive maturity, and decreased supervision with age. Although prepubertal children do endorse suicidal ideation, their cognitive immaturity appears to limit their ability to plan and execute lethal suicide attempts. Suicidal behavior is rare in preschool-age children; when present in this age group, physical and/or sexual abuse is common (Rosenberg et al. 1987).

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