Because equivocal findings exist with regard to the relationship between adolescents' suicidal behaviour and parental marital status, the aim of this study was to investigate this relationship and in particular the effect of the perceived parent-adolescent relationship on this association, taking into account the role of gender.
For this purpose, self-report surveys were administered to a representative school-based sample of 2707 adolescents in Antwerp (Belgium).
1) Boys living in a single parent family reported more suicidal ideations and self-harming behaviour than boys living in an intact family or in a remarried family; 2) Girls living in a remarried family reported more suicidal ideations and self-harming behaviour than girls living in an intact or in a single parent family; 3) Even after controlling for the levels of perceived parent-adolescent relationship, these associations remained significant.
The cross-sectional design, the retrospective assessment of suicidality and changes in family structure, the lack of external information and the assessment of the parent-adolescent relationship for both parents together, may have influenced the findings.
When assessing risk factors for adolescent suicidality, marital status of the parents may bear clinical importance. In contrast to other studies, the perceived parent-adolescent relationship did not alter this association, a finding that needs further study.
"The stronger association between lack of parental involvement and D-SIB in females may suggest a gender-specific vulnerability to lack of care or relationship difficulties with parents. A higher sensitivity to parent-child relationship has previously been reported for females with respect to suicidal behavior (Ponnet et al., 2005). Also, girls who engage in alcohol and substance abuse seem to be at higher risk of D-SIB compared with their male peers. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the prevalence and associated psychosocial factors of occasional and repetitive direct self-injurious behavior (D-SIB), such as self-cutting, -burning, -biting, -hitting, and skin damage by other methods, in representative adolescent samples from 11 European countries.
Cross-sectional assessment of adolescents was performed within the European Union funded project, Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE), which was conducted in 11 European countries. The representative sample comprised 12,068 adolescents (F/M: 6,717/5,351; mean age: 14.9 ± 0.89) recruited from randomly selected schools. Frequency of D-SIB was assessed by a modified 6-item questionnaire based on previously used versions of the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory (DSHI). In addition, a broad range of demographic, social, and psychological factors was assessed.
Overall lifetime prevalence of D-SIB was 27.6%; 19.7% reported occasional D-SIB and 7.8% repetitive D-SIB. Lifetime prevalence ranged from 17.1% to 38.6% across countries. Estonia, France, Germany, and Israel had the highest lifetime rates of D-SIB, while students from Hungary, Ireland, and Italy reported low rates. Suicidality as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms had the highest odds ratios for both occasional and repetitive D-SIB. There was a strong association of D-SIB with both psychopathology and risk-behaviors, including family related neglect and peer-related rejection/victimization. Associations between psychosocial variables and D-SIB were strongly influenced by both gender and country. Only a minor proportion of the adolescents who reported D-SIB ever received medical treatment.
These results suggest high lifetime prevalence of D-SIB in European adolescents. Prevalence as well as psychosocial correlates seems to be significantly influenced by both gender and country. These results support the need for a multidimensional approach to better understand the development of SIB and facilitate culturally adapted prevention/intervention.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11/2013; 55(4). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12166 · 6.46 Impact Factor
"This is mainly due to methodological limitations, such as considering only parental marital status (e.g. ) or parents together (e.g. ), and ignoring other common risk factors from multivariate analysis (e.g. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context: Suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults in Europe. Reducing suicides is therefore a key public health target. Previous studies have shown associations between suicidal behaviors, depression and family factors. OBJECTIVE: To assess the role of family factors in depression and suicidality in a large community-based sample of adolescents and to explore specific contributions (e.g. mother vs. father; conflict vs. no conflict; separation vs. no separation) taking into account other risk factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional sample of adolescents aged 17 years was recruited in 2008. 36,757 French adolescents (18,593 girls and 18,164 boys) completed a questionnaire including socio-demographic characteristics, drug use, family variables, suicidal ideations and attempts. Current depression was assessed with the Adolescent Depression Rating Scale (ADRS). Adolescents were divided into 4 groups according to suicide risk severity (grade 1 = depressed without suicidal ideation and without suicide attempts, grade 2 = depressed with suicidal ideations and grade 3 = depressed with suicide attempts; grade 0 = control group). Multivariate regressions were applied to assess the Odds Ratio of potential risk factors comparing grade 1, 2 or 3 risk with grade 0. RESULTS: 7.5% of adolescents (10.4% among girls vs. 4.5% among boys) had ADRS scores compatible with depression; 16.2% reported suicidal ideations in the past 12 months and 8.2% reported lifetime suicide attempts. Repeating a year in school was significantly associated to severity grade of suicide risk (1 and 3), as well as all substance use, tobacco use (severity grades 2 and 3) and marijuana use (severity grade 3), for girls and boys. After adjustment, negative relationships with either or both parents, and parents living together but with a negative relationship were significantly associated with suicide risk and/or depression in both genders (all risk grades), and Odds Ratios increased according to risk severity grade. CONCLUSION: Family discord and negative relationship with parents were associated with an increased suicide risk in depressed adolescents. So it appears essential to take intrafamilial relationships into account in depressed adolescents to prevent suicidal behaviours.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 03/2013; 7(1):8. DOI:10.1186/1753-2000-7-8
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sommaire Cette thèse examine les liens entre la présence de risques suicidaires chez les adolescents et leur perception des pratiques de chacun de leurs parents. L’étude a examiné l’association entre le comportement suicidaire et différents aspects des pratiques parentales incluant l’affection, l’exercice du contrôle comportemental et psychologique ainsi que les conflits entre parent et adolescents. La thèse a également examiné l’effet du statut matrimonial des parents sur le comportement suicidaire chez les jeunes. Le dernier objectif de l’étude a été d’explorer le rôle du sexe de l’adolescent comme facteur de vulnérabilité face au suicide. L’échantillon de l’étude était composé 1096 adolescents Montréalais, âgés de 11 à 18 ans. L’échantillon était également réparti entre filles et garçons, fréquentant deux écoles secondaires de la région de Montréal, dans la province du Québec au Canada. Il y avait deux groupes à l’étude : le groupe suicidaire et le groupe non-suicidaire. Le premier groupe incluait les sujets présentant des idéations suicidaires et ceux ayant fait une ou plusieurs tentatives de suicide. Un questionnaire auto-rapporté fut administré à chaque sujet pour évaluer les dimensions suivantes auprès de la mère et du père : le niveau de proximité affective, le niveau de supervision parentale, le contrôle comportemental et le contrôle psychologique, la tolérance à l’égard des amis, ainsi que la fréquence et l’impact émotionnel des conflits. Une échelle a également évalué la présence éventuelle de comportements suicidaires chez les jeunes. Dans le but de tester l’hypothèse de base de l’étude, une série d’analyses descriptives et une MANCOVA ont été réalisées. L’hypothèse générale de la thèse postulant que les adolescents ayant des risques suicidaires présenteraient des relations plus problématiques avec leurs parents fut confirmée. En contrôlant l’effet de la détresse psychologique des adolescents, les analyses ont mené à la conclusion que, dans les familles biparentales, un faible niveau de proximité affective avec la mère, une fréquence plus élevée de conflits avec la mère, un excès du contrôle psychologique et un plus faible niveau de supervision maternelle, présentaient des liens significatifs avec le comportement suicidaire chez les adolescents. Indépendamment de la structure familiale, les caractéristiques suivantes du père étaient respectivement perçues par l’adolescent comme ayant des liens significatifs avec le comportement suicidaire des adolescents: faible proximité affective, impact émotionnel et fréquence élevée des conflits ainsi que le manque de supervision. Ces résultats ont été interprétés à la lumière des théories de la socialisation qui mettent l’accent sur le rôle central de la qualité des liens affectifs entre parents et adolescents, comme facteur de protection contre les risques suicidaires. Les résultats ont aussi révélé que les filles adolescentes sont plus exposées aux risques suicidaires tels que tentatives et idéations suicidaires. Les conclusions de cette étude soulignent le besoin urgent de recherches plus poussées sur le comportement suicidaire des adolescents et leurs liens avec les facteurs familiaux, en tenant compte du statut matrimonial des parents. La thèse met également l’accent sur la nécessité de mettre en place des programmes de prévention auprès des adolescents présentant des risques suicidaires élevés. Abstract This thesis explores the relationship between the risk of suicidal behaviour in adolescents and their perception of parental practices used in their families. This study is primarily aimed at investigating the association between suicidal behavior in a Montreal sample of adolescents and several aspects of their parents’ parental practices including parent-child bonding, parental psychological and behavioral control, and parent- adolescent conflict. The second goal of this thesis was to examine the effect of parents’ marital status on adolescents’ suicidal behavior. The final objective of this study was to explore the link between gender difference and vulnerability to suicidal behavior in adolescents. The participants of this study included 1096 Montréal high school students, aged between 11 and 18 years, equally divided in boys and girls, in the province of Québec, Canada. There were two groups involved in this study: non suicidal and suicidal behavior. The suicidal behavior group included both suicidal ideation and suicide attempt behaviors. A self-report questionnaire was administrated to evaluate the level of parent and child bonding, the quality of parental psychological and behavioral control, and the level of adolescent’s conflict with each of the parents and risk of suicide in young individuals. A series of descriptive analysis and a multivariate analysis of covariant (MANCOVA) was performed in order to test the hypotheses of the study. The general hypotheses of the study postulating that adolescents who perceived a more troubled relationship with their parents, were at a higher risk of suicidal behaviors were confirmed. The evaluation of parental practices characteristics after being controlled for psychological distress and family structure concluded that in the case of intact families the high emotional impact and frequency of conflict with the mother, lack of maternal emotional bonding, excess of maternal psychological control, and lack of maternal supervision are significantly related to adolescents’ suicidal behaviors. In both families structures, the strongest significant characteristics of paternal parental practices perceived by adolescents with suicidal behavior was the lack of emotional bonding between father and child, the high impact and frequency of conflict between them, and lack of paternal supervision respectively. These results are interpreted in the light of socialization theory which emphasizes on the crucial role of the quality of the parent- adolescent bonding as a protective factor against suicidality in adolescents. The result also revealed that adolescent girls are at a higher risk of demonstrating suicidal behaviors such as ideation and attempt than boys. The findings of this study demonstrate an urgent need for more research on adolescent’s suicidal behavior and risk factors especially on parents’ marital status. The study also highlights the necessity of designing prevention programs specifically aimed at adolescents with an elevated risk of suicide.
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