Cheryl A King

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

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Publications (47)123.69 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research has documented the feasibility of screening in emergency departments for adolescent suicide risk. This randomized trial examined the effectiveness of Teen Options for Change (TOC), an intervention for adolescents seeking general medical emergency services who screen positive for suicide risk.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 10/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence of psychiatric emergency (PE) visits for attempted suicide and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) among adolescents, we have limited information about assessment tools that are helpful in predicting subsequent risk for suicide attempts among adolescents in PE settings. This study examined the predictive validity of a highly promising instrument, the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS).
    Pediatric emergency care. 10/2014;
  • Ewa K. Czyz, Johnny Berona, Cheryl A. King
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    ABSTRACT: The challenge of identifying suicide risk in adolescents, and particularly among high-risk subgroups such as adolescent inpatients, calls for further study of models of suicidal behavior that could meaningfully aid in the prediction of risk. This study examined how well the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior (IPTS)—with its constructs of thwarted belongingness (TB), perceived burdensomeness (PB), and an acquired capability (AC) for lethal self-injury—predicts suicide attempts among adolescents (N = 376) 3 and 12 months after hospitalization. The three-way interaction between PB, TB, and AC, defined as a history of multiple suicide attempts, was not significant. However, there were significant 2-way interaction effects, which varied by sex: girls with low AC and increasing TB, and boys with high AC and increasing PB, were more likely to attempt suicide at 3 months. Only high AC predicted 12-month attempts. Results suggest gender-specific associations between theory components and attempts. The time-limited effects of these associations point to TB and PB being dynamic and modifiable in high-risk populations, whereas the effects of AC are more lasting. The study also fills an important gap in existing research by examining IPTS prospectively.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 09/2014; · 1.33 Impact Factor
  • Adam G Horwitz, Ewa K Czyz, Cheryl A King
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine specific characteristics of suicidal ideation in combination with histories of suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) to best evaluate risk for a future attempt among high-risk adolescents and emerging adults. Participants in this retrospective medical record review study were 473 (53% female; 69% Caucasian) consecutive patients, ages 15 to 24 years (M = 19.4 years) who presented for psychiatric emergency services during a 9-month period. These patients' medical records, including a clinician-administered Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, were coded at the index visit and at future visits occurring within the next 18 months. Logistic regression models were used to predict suicide attempts during this period. Socioeconomic status, suicidal ideation severity (i.e., intent, method), suicidal ideation intensity (i.e., frequency, controllability), a lifetime history of suicide attempt, and a lifetime history of NSSI were significant independent predictors of a future suicide attempt. Suicidal ideation added incremental validity to the prediction of future suicide attempts above and beyond the influence of a past suicide attempt, whereas a lifetime history of NSSI did not. Sex moderated the relationship between the duration of suicidal thoughts and future attempts (predictive for male patients but not female). Results suggest value in incorporating both past behaviors and current thoughts into suicide risk formulation. Furthermore, suicidal ideation duration warrants additional examination as a potential critical factor for screening assessments evaluating suicide risk among high-risk samples, particularly for male patients.
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) are at high risk of suicidal behaviors, highlighting the need for an improved understanding of potentially influential factors. One such domain is self-efficacy to manage suicidal thoughts and impulses. Psychometric data about the Self-Efficacy to Avoid Suicidal Action (SEASA) Scale within a sample of adults seeking SUD treatment (N = 464) is provided. Exploratory factor analysis supported a single self-efficacy construct. Lower SEASA scores, or lower self-efficacy, were reported in those with more severe suicidal ideation and those with more suicide attempts, providing evidence for convergent validity. Implications of measuring self-efficacy in the context of suicide risk assessment are discussed.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 05/2014; · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: This study sought to describe self-reported barriers to professional help seeking among college students who are at elevated suicide risk and determine if these barriers vary by demographic and clinical characteristics. Participants: Participants were 165 non-treatment seekers recruited as part of a Web-based treatment linkage intervention for college students at elevated suicide risk (from September 2010 through December 2011). Methods: Data were collected using Web-based questionnaires. Two coders coded students' responses to an open-ended question about reasons for not seeking professional help. Results: The most commonly reported barriers included perception that treatment is not needed (66%), lack of time (26.8%), and preference for self-management (18%). Stigma was mentioned by only 12% of students. There were notable differences based on gender, race, and severity of depression and alcohol abuse. Conclusions: Efforts aimed at reaching students at elevated risk for suicidal behavior should be particularly sensitive to these commonly described barriers.
    Journal of American College Health 10/2013; 61(7):398-406. · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • Ewa K Czyz, Cheryl A King
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    ABSTRACT: A period of particularly high risk for suicide attempts among adolescent inpatients is within 12 months after discharge. However, little is known about longitudinal trajectories of suicidal ideation in this high-risk group and how these relate to posthospitalization suicide attempts and rehospitalizations. Our objectives were to identify these trajectories and examine their relationships with posthospitalization psychiatric crises. We also examined predictors of trajectory group membership. Participants (N = 376; ages 13-17; 72% female) were assessed at hospitalization and 3, 6, and 12 months later. Trajectory groups, and their predictors, were identified with latent class growth modeling. We used logistic regression to examine associations between trajectory groups and likelihood of suicide attempts and rehospitalization, controlling for attempt history. Three trajectory groups were identified: (a) subclinical ideators (31.6%), (b) elevated ideators with rapidly declining ideation (57.4%), and (c) chronically elevated ideators (10.9%). Adolescents in the chronically elevated ideation group had 2.29, confidence interval (CI) [1.08, 4.85], p = .03, and 4.15, CI [1.65, 10.44], p < .01, greater odds of attempting suicide and 3.23, CI [1.37, 7.69], p = .01, and 11.20, CI [4.33, 29.01], p < .001, greater odds of rehospitalization relative to rapidly declining and subclinical groups, respectively. Higher baseline hopelessness was associated with persisting suicidal ideation. Results suggest that suicidal ideation severity at hospitalization may not be an adequate marker for subsequent suicidal crises. It is important to identify adolescents vulnerable to persisting suicidal ideation, as they are at highest risk of psychiatric crises. Addressing hopelessness may facilitate faster declines in ideation after hospitalization. Results also highlight a need for consistent monitoring of these adolescents' suicidal ideation after discharge.
    Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 09/2013; · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinicians commonly incorporate adolescents' self-reported suicidal ideation into formulations regarding adolescents' risk for suicide. Data are limited, however, regarding the extent to which adolescent boys' and girls' reports of suicidal ideation have clinically significant predictive validity in terms of subsequent suicidal behavior. This study examined psychiatrically hospitalized adolescent boys' and girls' self-reported suicidal ideation as a predictor of suicide attempts during the first year following hospitalization. A total of 354 adolescents (97 boys; 257 girls; ages 13-17 years) hospitalized for acute suicide risk were evaluated at the time of hospitalization as well as 3, 6, and 12 months later. Study measures included the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire-Junior, Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Youth Self-Report, and Personal Experiences Screen Questionnaire. The main study outcome was presence and number of suicide attempt(s) in the year after hospitalization, measured by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Results indicated a significant interaction between suicidal ideation, assessed during first week of hospitalization, and gender for the prediction of subsequent suicide attempts. Suicidal ideation was a significant predictor of subsequent suicide attempts for girls, but not boys. Baseline history of multiple suicide attempts was a significant predictor of subsequent suicide attempts across genders. Results support the importance of empirically validating suicide risk assessment strategies separately for adolescent boys and girls. Among adolescent boys who have been hospitalized due to acute suicide risk, low levels of self-reported suicidal ideation may not be indicative of low risk for suicidal behavior following hospitalization.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 08/2013; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prospective longitudinal research is needed to examine associations between bullying behaviors and trajectories of suicidal ideation and behavior and overall functional impairment. The specific aims of the present study are to: (1) characterize differences in baseline functioning between acutely suicidal adolescents who are classified into bullying perpetrator and non-bully groups and (2) examine the 1-year trajectories of these two groups of adolescents. Participants were 433 psychiatrically hospitalized suicidal adolescents (72% female), ages 13 to 17 years. Participants reported suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, substance use, adaptive functioning, and bullying behavior. Six items from the Youth Self-Report were used to classify adolescents into bullying perpetrator (n = 54) and non-bully (n = 379) groups. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. At hospitalization, adolescents in the bully group reported significantly higher levels of suicidal ideation, substance use, and functional impairment. Suicidal ideation differences remitted at six weeks. The elevated functional impairment of the bullying perpetrator group persisted across the 12-month period. Adolescents who met bullying perpetrator group criteria were characterized by more severe suicidal ideation and higher levels of proximal risk factors for suicide. Bullying behavior was not stable over time but was associated with elevated suicide risk when present. These findings highlight the importance of specifically assessing for and targeting bullying behavior at multiple time points when treating suicidal adolescents.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2013; 53(1 Suppl):S43-50. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Suicidal ideation substantially increases the odds of future suicide attempts, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents. A history of adverse life events has been linked with future suicidal ideation and attempts, although studies examining potential mediating variables have been scarce. One probable mediating mechanism is how the individual copes with adverse life events. For example, certain coping strategies appear to be more problematic than others in increasing future psychopathology, and emotional suppression in particular has been associated with poor mental health outcomes in adults and children. However, no studies to date have examined the potential mediating role of emotional suppression in the relation between adverse life events and suicidal thoughts/behavior in adolescence. The goal of the current study was to examine emotional suppression as a mediator in the relation between childhood adversity and future suicidal thoughts/behaviors in youth. A total of 625 participants, aged 14-19 years, seeking ER services were administered measures assessing adverse life events, coping strategies, suicidal ideation in the last 2 weeks, and suicide attempts in the last month. The results suggest that emotional suppression mediates the relation between adversity and both (1) suicidal thoughts and (2) suicide attempts above and beyond demographic variables and depressive symptoms. This study has important implications for interventions aimed at preventing suicidal thoughts and behavior in adolescents with histories of adversity.
    Prevention Science 02/2013; · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of the HPA axis and the dysfunction of the central serotonin (5HT) system are the most replicated biomarkers of depression and suicidal ideation and behavior. However, few studies have examined the two systems simultaneously. In this study, cortisol response was measured in depressed adolescents, following the administration of a central serotonin receptor agonist, meta-chlorphenylpiprazine (mCPP). Adolescents with major depression (MDD; n = 44; males = 15, females = 29; mean age ± SD = 15.5 ± 1.5) were divided into two groups: non-suicidal or those who reported passive suicidal ideation (n = 21), and those who had either threatened suicide or engaged in suicidal acts (n = 23). Sequential infusions of normal saline and mCPP were administered, and serial blood samples were collected for cortisol response. A differential time by group pattern of cortisol response following mCPP was found in the entire group (F6,242 = 2.6, p = 0.018). However, this was mostly attributed to males (F6,73 = 2.3, p = 0.043) who had threatened or engaged in suicidal acts and displayed a higher cortisol response at 10 and 25 min after the infusion of mCPP, which was not affected by the severity of depression. This differential pattern of cortisol secretion in response to a serotonergic agonist may be a biomarker for more severe forms of suicidal ideation and behavior in adolescent males.
    Asian Journal of Psychiatry 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate adolescent and parent attitudes toward screening adolescents for suicide risk and other mental health problems in the emergency department (ED). Two hundred ninety-four adolescents and 300 parents completed questionnaires about the importance of screening for suicide risk and other mental health problems in the ED, what would be helpful if the screen was positive, their concerns about screening in the ED, whether they believe screening should be a routine part of an ED visit, and whether they would complete a screening during the current visit if offered the opportunity. Overall, parents and adolescents reported positive attitudes toward screening for suicide risk and other mental health problems in the ED, with the majority responding that it should be a routine part of ED care. Suicide risk and drug and alcohol misuse were rated as more important to screen for than any of the other mental health problems by both parents and adolescents. Adolescent females and mothers were more supportive of screening for suicide risk and mental health problems in the ED than male adolescents and fathers. Descriptive data regarding screening concerns and follow-up preferences are reported. Study results suggest overall positive support for screening for suicide risk and other mental health problems in the ED, with some important preferences, concerns, and parent versus adolescent and male versus female differences.
    Pediatric emergency care 06/2012; 28(7):626-32. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This experimental study examined the effect of communication about type of screening follow-up (in-person follow-up vs. no in-person follow-up) on adolescents' responses to a self-report suicide risk screen. Participants were 245 adolescents (131 girls, 114 boys; ages 13-17; 80% White, 21.6% Black, 9.8% American Indian, 2.9% Asian) seeking medical emergency services. They were randomized to a screening follow-up condition. Screening measures assessed primary risk factors for suicidal behavior, including suicidal thoughts, depressive symptoms, alcohol use, and aggressive/delinquent behavior. There was no main effect of follow-up condition on adolescents' screening scores; however, significant interactions between follow-up condition and public assistance status were evident. Adolescents whose families received public assistance were less likely to report aggressive-delinquent behavior if assigned to in-person follow-up. Adolescents whose families did not receive public assistance reported significantly higher levels of suicidal ideation if assigned to in-person follow-up. Findings suggest that response biases impact some adolescents' responses to suicide risk screenings. Because national policy strongly recommends suicide risk screening in emergency settings, and because screening scores are used to make critical decisions regarding risk management and treatment recommendations, findings indicate the importance of improving the reliability and validity of suicide risk screening for adolescents.
    Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 04/2012; 41(4):508-15. · 1.92 Impact Factor
  • Ewa K Czyz, Zhuqing Liu, Cheryl A King
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the extent to which posthospitalization change in connectedness with family, peers, and nonfamily adults predicted suicide attempts, severity of suicidal ideation, and depressive symptoms across a 12-month follow-up period among inpatient suicidal adolescents. Participants were 338 inpatient suicidal adolescents, ages 13 to 17, who were assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months posthospitalization. General liner models were fitted for depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation outcomes, and logistic regression was used for the dichotomous suicide attempt outcome. The moderating effects of gender and multiple attempt history were examined. Adolescents who reported greater improvements in peer connectedness were half as likely to attempt suicide during the 12-month period. Improved peer connectedness was also associated with less severe depressive symptoms for all adolescents and with less severe suicidal ideation for female individuals, but only at the 3-month assessment time point. Improved family connectedness was related to less severe depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation across the entire year; for suicidal ideation, this protective effect was limited to nonmultiple suicide attempters. Change in connectedness with nonfamily adults was not a significant predictor of any outcome when changes in family and peer connectedness were taken into account. These results pointing to improved posthospitalization connectedness being linked to improved outcomes following hospitalization have important treatment and prevention implications given inpatient suicidal adolescents' vulnerability to suicidal behavior.
    Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 03/2012; 41(2):214-26. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Careers in academic health centers (AHCs) come with a unique set of challenges and rewards. Building a stable and rewarding career as a psychologist in an AHC requires the efforts of a whole team of players and coaches. This paper outlines the characteristics of AHCs and the general skills psychologists need to thrive in this type of setting. Advice specific to each stage of career development (early, mid, and late) is offered, highlighting the themes of coaching and teamwork that are critical to success in an AHC.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 12/2010; 17(4):315-25. · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    Adam G Horwitz, Ryan M Hill, Cheryl A King
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    ABSTRACT: The coping strategies used by adolescents to deal with stress may have implications for the development of depression and suicidal ideation. This study examined coping categories and specific coping behaviors used by adolescents to assess the relation of coping to depression and suicidal ideation. In hierarchical regression models, the specific coping behaviors of behavioral disengagement and self-blame were predictive of higher levels of depression; depression and using emotional support were predictive of suicidal ideation. Results suggest that specific behaviors within the broad coping categories of emotion-focused coping (e.g., self-blame) and avoidant coping (e.g., behavioral disengagement) account for these categories' associations with depression and suicidal ideation. Specific problem-focused coping strategies did not independently predict lower levels of depression or suicidal ideation. It may be beneficial for interventions to focus on eliminating maladaptive coping behaviors in addition to introducing or enhancing positive coping behaviors.
    Journal of Adolescence 11/2010; 34(5):1077-85. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This longitudinal study of recently hospitalized suicidal youth examined parental mental health history in addition to several indices of adolescent functioning as risk factors for time-to-suicide attempt over a 1-year period. Participants were 352 adolescents (253 girls, 99 boys; ages 13–17years) who participated in self-report and interview assessments within 1week of hospitalization and 6weeks, 3, 6, and 12months post-hospitalization. Multivariable proportional hazards regression modeled time-to-suicide attempt. Results indicate that adolescents were almost twice as likely to make a suicide attempt if they had at least one biological parent with mental health problems. Risk was also increased for adolescents with baseline histories of multiple previous suicide attempts, more severe suicidal ideation and more severe functional impairment. Findings suggest the need to consider the family system when intervening with suicidal youth.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 03/2010; 39(3):219-232. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many adolescents who die by suicide have never obtained mental health services. In response to this, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention recommends screening for elevated suicide risk in emergency departments (EDs). This cross-sectional study was designed to examine 1) the concurrent validity and utility of an adolescent suicide risk screen for use in general medical EDs and 2) the prevalence of positive screens for adolescent males and females using two different sets of screening criteria. Participants were 298 adolescents seeking pediatric or psychiatric emergency services (50% male; 83% white, 16% black or African American, 5.4% Hispanic). The inclusion criterion was age 13 to 17 years. Exclusion criteria were severe cognitive impairment, no parent or legal guardian present to provide consent, or abnormal vital signs. Parent or guardian consent and adolescent assent were obtained for 61% of consecutively eligible adolescents. Elevated risk was defined as 1) Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire-Junior [SIQ-JR] score of > or =31 or suicide attempt in the past 3 months or 2) alcohol abuse plus depression (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-3 [AUDIT-3] score of > or =3, Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-2 [RADS-2] score of > or =76). The Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) and Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) were used to ascertain concurrent validity. Sixteen percent (n = 48) of adolescents screened positive for elevated suicide risk. Within this group, 98% reported severe suicide ideation or a recent suicide attempt (46% attempt and ideation, 10% attempt only, 42% ideation only) and 27% reported alcohol abuse and depression. Nineteen percent of adolescents who screened positive presented for nonpsychiatric reasons. One-third of adolescents with positive screens were not receiving any mental health or substance use treatment. Demonstrating concurrent validity, the BHS scores of adolescents with positive screens and the POSIT scores of those with positive screens due to alcohol abuse and depression indicated substantial impairment. The addition of alcohol abuse with co-occurring depression as a positive screen criterion did not result in improved case identification. Among the subgroup screening positive due to depression plus alcohol abuse, all but one (>90%) also reported severe suicide ideation and/or a recent suicide attempt. This subgroup (approximately 17% of adolescents who screened positive) also reported significantly more impulsivity than other adolescents who screened positive. The suicide risk screen showed evidence of concurrent validity. It also demonstrated utility in identifying 1) adolescents at elevated risk for suicide who presented to the ED with unrelated medical concerns and 2) a subgroup of adolescents who may be at highly elevated risk for suicide due to the combination of depression, alcohol abuse, suicidality, and impulsivity.
    Academic Emergency Medicine 10/2009; 16(11):1234-41. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of the Youth-Nominated Support Team-Version II (YST-II) for suicidal adolescents, an intervention based on social support and health behavior models, which was designed to supplement standard treatments. Psychiatrically hospitalized and suicidal adolescents, 13-17 years of age, were randomly assigned to treatment-as-usual (TAU) + YST-II (n = 223) or TAU only (n = 225). YST-II provided tailored psychoeducation to youth-nominated adults in addition to weekly check-ins for 3 months following hospitalization. In turn, these adults had regular supportive contact with adolescents. Adolescents assigned to TAU + YST-II had an average of 3.43 (SD = 0.83) nominated adults. Measures included the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire-Junior (SIQ-JR; W. M. Reynolds, 1988), Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (E. O. Poznanski & H. B. Mokros, 1996), Beck Hopelessness Scale (A. T. Beck & R. A. Steer, 1993), and Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS; K. Hodges, 1996). YST-II had very limited positive effects, which were moderated by history of multiple suicide attempts, and no negative effects. It resulted in more rapid decreases in suicidal ideation (SIQ-JR) for multiple suicide attempters during the initial 6 weeks after hospitalization (small-to-moderate effect size). For nonmultiple attempters, it was associated with greater declines in functional impairment (CAFAS) at 3 and 12 months (small effect sizes). YST-II had no effects on suicide attempts and no enduring effects on SIQ-JR scores.
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 10/2009; 77(5):880-93. · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychopathology, social support, and interpersonal orientation were studied in relation to suicide attempt status in acutely suicidal, psychiatrically hospitalized Black adolescents and a matched sample of White adolescents. In the total sample, multiple attempters were differentiated by lower perceived support. Within the Black youth subsample, social comparison and positive stimulation from others differentiated multiple attempters from single attempters/ideators. Only suicidal ideation predicted multiple attempts among White youth and only higher interpersonal orientation predicted multiple suicide attempts within Black adolescents.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 05/2009; 39(2):115-24. · 1.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

872 Citations
123.69 Total Impact Points


  • 2003–2014
    • University of Michigan
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Psychology
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 1995–2014
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2007
    • Oregon Social Learning Center
      Eugene, Oregon, United States
    • Eastern Michigan University
      • Department of Psychology
      Ypsilanti, MI, United States