Elizabeth Altschuler

New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (3)11.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This is the first study to examine the extent to which frequent involvement in high-school bullying (as a bullying perpetrator, victim of bullying, or bully-victim) increases the risk for later depression and suicidality beyond other well-established risk factors of suicide. The study included 96 students who reported being a bully, a victim, or a bully-victim, and also reported depression, suicidality, or substance problems during an initial suicide screen. These students were interviewed 2 years later and were compared with 142 youth identified during the initial screen as "suicide-at-risk" by virtue of their depression, suicidal ideation, attempts, and substance problems, but who did not report any involvement in bullying behavior. Students who reported both bullying others and other suicide-related behaviors at baseline had higher suicide ideation and were more functionally impaired at follow-up than students who reported suicide-related behaviors but were not involved in bullying. Preventive efforts in high school should target those children who are characterized by both psychological disturbance and bullying, especially the frequent bullies.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2013; 53(1 Suppl):S37-42. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This is the first study to examine whether high school students experiencing frequent bullying behaviors are at risk for later depression and suicidality. A total of 236 students who reported frequent bullying behavior without depression or suicidality during a suicide screening were interviewed 4 years later to reassess depression, suicidal ideation, attempts, substance problems, and functional impairment and were compared to at-risk youth identified during the screen, including 96 youth who also experienced bullying behavior. Youth who only reported frequent bullying behaviors (as bullies, victims, or both) did not develop later depression or suicidality and continued to have fewer psychiatric problems than students identified as at-risk for suicide. Students who experienced bullying behaviors and depression or suicidality were more impaired 4 years later than those who had only reported depression or suicidality. Thus, assessment of bullying behaviors in screening protocols is recommended.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 07/2011; 41(5):501-16. · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to examine follow-up service use by students identified at risk for suicidal behavior in a school-based screening program and assess barriers to seeking services as perceived by youths and parents. We conducted a longitudinal study of 317 at-risk youths identified by a school-based suicide screening in six high schools in New York State. The at-risk teenagers and their parents were interviewed approximately 2 years after the initial screen to assess service use during the intervening period and identify barriers that may have interfered with seeking treatment. At the time of the screening, 72% of the at-risk students were not receiving any type of mental health service. Of these students, 51% were deemed in need of services and subsequently referred by us to a mental health professional. Nearly 70% followed through with the screening's referral recommendations. The youths and their parents reported perceptions about mental health problems, specifically relating to the need for treatment, as the primary reasons for not seeking service. Screening seems to be effective in enhancing the likelihood that students at risk for suicidal behavior will get into treatment. Well-developed and systematic planning is needed to ensure that screening and referral services are coordinated so as to facilitate access for youths into timely treatment.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 10/2009; 48(12):1193-201. · 6.97 Impact Factor