Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Patricia Lowry, PhD; Robert Nelson, PhD; Michael Haney, PhD


adolescents, attitude, education, high school teachers, intervention programs, San Diego county (California), Suicide


The researcher in this study sought to examine the comparison of the attitude and knowledge of suicide of high school students with the attitude and knowledge of suicide of high school teachers. The investigation will yield results which will be utilized for the purpose of developing a greater understanding of the attitude of both populations. The results will be analyzed with the prospects of utilizing this information for the preparation and formulation of effective suicide prevention and intervention programs at high school campuses. This study, which extended from November, 1985 through March, 1986, was conducted in four high schools in the County of San Diego in the State of California. The sample consisted of respondents from both public and private high schools. Sixty-four percent of the participants were students while 36% of the participants were teachers. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents came from public schools while 21% of the respondents came from a private Catholic high school. The instrument used to gather data focused on attitude and knowledge issues related to suicide. This instrument, titled "Suicide Opinion Questionnaire," was developed by Dr. George Domino, Ph.D., professor at the University of Arizona. With permission from this author, the researcher used this instrument to gather this important data. Statistic procedures were applied to 30 null hypotheses by a two-way analysis of variance. Findings were significant in specific cases and resulted in a significant difference between teacher and student attitude and knowledge on issues related to suicide. The researcher concluded that the following subsections yielded significant results, and they include: (1) acceptability and normality, (2) mental and moral illness, (3) semi-serious, (4) risk, (5) demographics, (6) impulsivity, and (7) individual aspects. The researcher concluded that there is a significant difference in some areas between the attitude and knowledge of high school students on issues related to suicide and attitude and knowledge of high school teachers on issues related to suicide. This finding provides for a fundamental understanding of the differences and an opportunity to begin to explore the differences for the purpose of possibly developing a prevention and intervention program to bridge the gap of discrepancy and unite the efforts in dealing with this sensitive issue.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access