Psychosocial and risk behavior correlates of youth suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.

Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT 06520-7900, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.35). 08/2001; 40(7):837-46. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-200107000-00019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify the independent psychosocial and risk behavior correlates of suicidal ideation and attempts.
The relationships between suicidal ideation or attempts and family environment, subject characteristics, and various risk behaviors were examined among 1,285 randomly selected children and adolescents, aged 9 through 17 years, of whom 42 (3.3%) had attempted suicide and 67 (5.2%) had expressed suicidal ideation only. The youths and their parents were enumerated and interviewed between December 1991 and July 1992 as part of the NIMH Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study.
Compared with subjects with suicidal ideation only, attempters were significantly more likely to have experienced stressful life events, to have become sexually active, to have smoked more than one cigarette daily, and to have a history of ever having smoked marijuana. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, a statistically significant association was found between suicidal ideation or attempt and stressful life events, poor family environment, parental psychiatric history, low parental monitoring, low instrumental and social competence, sexual activity, marijuana use, recent drunkenness, current smoking, and physical fighting. Even after further adjusting for the presence of a mood, anxiety, or disruptive disorder, a significant association persisted between suicidal ideation or attempts and poor family environment, low parental monitoring, low youth instrumental competence, sexual activity, recent drunkenness, current smoking, and physical fighting.
Low parental monitoring and risk behaviors (such as smoking, physical fighting, alcohol intoxication, and sexual activity) are independently associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempts, even after adjusting for the presence of psychiatric disorder and sociodemographic variables.

  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To review the past decade of research on teenage suicide with a particular emphasis on epidemiologic trends by age, gender, and indigenous ethnicity. A review of research literature from 2003-2014 was conducted via a comprehensive search of relevant Psychological and Medical databases. Wide gaps in our knowledge base exist concerning the true extent of teenage suicide due to lack of data, particularly in developing countries, resulting in a Western bias. The gender paradox of elevated suicidality in females with higher completed suicide rates in males is observed in teenage populations worldwide, with the notable exceptions of China and India. Native and indigenous ethnic minority teens are at significantly increased risk of suicide in comparison to general population peers. Often those with the highest need for mental health care, (such as the suicidal adolescent), have least access to therapeutic support. Globally, suicide in teenagers remains a major public health concern. Further focused research concerning completed suicides of youth under the age of 18 is required across countries and cultures to understand more about risk as children progress through adolescence. Gender and ethnic variations in suicidality are embedded within cultural, historical, psychological, relational, and socio-economic domains. Worldwide, the absence of child/adolescent-specific mental health policies, may delay the development of care and suicide prevention. It is vital that clinicians adopt a holistic approach that incorporates an awareness of age and gender influences, and that cultural competency informs tailored and evaluated intervention programmes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Physicians. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    QJM: monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/qjmed/hcv026 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Assessing youths in acute suicidal crisis is a common jet pivotal task in child and adolescent psychiatry, usually relying primarily on the clinicians skills of assessment. The objective of this pilot-study was to evaluate feasibility and usefulness of questionnaires during assessment of youths in acute suicidal crisis. Method 31 adolescents, presenting for suicide assessment, and their caregivers, were asked upon emergency presentation to fill in the Suicidal-Ideation-Questionnaire (SIQ) and the Youth Life Status Questionnaire (Y-LSQ) before receiving an assessment by a clinician. The SIQ has 30 items, 8 of which are defined as critical items able to predict suicidality with the highest probability. The Y-LSQ (30 items) measures the overall level of psychological distress. It has one suicidal item, which was used in this study for validation of the SIQ result. Clinical judgment and test results were collected and analyzed by an independent researcher. Results It was feasible to ask adolescents in acute suicidal crisis to fill in a questionnaire. Clinical assessment of suicidality did not correlate significantly with the overall SIQ-score (p = 0.089), however there was a significant correlation between the SIQ 8 critical item result and clinical judgement of suicidality (p = 0.050). Conclusion The 8 critical SIQ items can be used to support clinical judgment of suicidality in acute crisis.
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 11/2014; 8(1):28. DOI:10.1186/1753-2000-8-28