Characteristics of suicidality among adolescents

Scott Wetzler, Gregory M. Asnis, Ruth Bernstein Hyman, Christie Virtue, James Zimmerman, Jill H. Rathus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The identification of high-risk adolescent suicide attempters in a population of depressed and suicidal adolescents is of crucial importance. This retrospective study examined characteristics of suicidality (recent and lifetime, active and passive) and psychopathology (depression, aggression, impulsivity, stressful life events, SCL-90 dimensions) among four groups of depressed adolescent outpatients: (1) suicide attempters who required medical treatment (n = 84), (2) suicide attempters who did not require medical treatment (n = 57), (3) suicidal ideators who had never made a suicide attempt (n = 40), and (4) nonsuicidal patients (n = 44). Results indicate that the nonsuicidal group could be differentiated from the three suicidal groups on the basis of suicidality and psychopathology, and that the three suicidal groups could be differentiated from one another on the basis of suicidality but not psychopathology. These findings are discussed in terms of the usefulness of certain self-report measures of suicidality for identifying suicidal adolescents and for differentiating among them. Furthermore, the findings suggest that psychopathological factors do not determine which suicidal adolescents make a medically dangerous suicide attempt and which do not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume26
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Wetzler, S., Asnis, G. M., Hyman, R. B., Virtue, C., Zimmerman, J., & Rathus, J. H. (1996). Characteristics of suicidality among adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 26(1), 37-45.