Adolescents experience both developmental and situational periods of transition along with myriad stressful life events when they enter and exit high school. These life events may be associated with thinking of, planning, and attempting suicide. Yet despite the development of prevention programs to treat at-risk individuals, suicide rates among adolescents have remained relatively high. Recent research suggests that suicidal ideation is associated with stressful life events and the use of maladaptive coping mechanisms, but studies have been limited to cross-sectional designs and clinical samples. We conducted a longitudinal study of 1345 rural adolescents (50.7% Hispanic) attending public schools in central Texas. The purpose of this analysis was to determine changes in suicide ideation rates over time and to test hypotheses about the life events and coping mechanisms associated with suicide ideation. Gender and race/ethnic differences in suicide were also explored. Rates of reported suicide ideation declined significantly from the first to the last year of high school (p = .015). Statistically significant relationships were found between suicide ideation, several types of life events, and maladaptive coping strategies. Gender and racial/ethnic differences were also found. Taken together, these findings suggest new approaches to developing and testing interventions that can assist specific populations of adolescents to learn how to cope with their life events in productive and health-promoting ways.