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Suicide in adolescents with disruptive disorders.

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  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.



To determine the psychiatric risk factors for suicide in adolescents with disruptive disorders.


Fifty-nine adolescent suicide completers and 18 community controls, both having a probable or definite current DSM-III diagnosis of disruptive disorders, were compared.


Adolescents with disruptive disorders who committed suicide had higher rates of current substance abuse, past suicide attempt, family history of substance abuse, and family history of mood disorder than disruptive community controls.


Disruptive adolescents appear to be at risk for completed suicide when comorbid substance abuse and past history of suicide attempt are present. The risk increases if the adolescents have a past history of physical abuse and if they have parents with substance abuse and mood disorders. Clinicians should be aware of these risk factors and implement active interventions to prevent suicide. Treatment should focus on treating not only the adolescents, but also their family members. The findings of this study also highlight the need for future research in the prevention of suicide in adolescents with disruptive disorders and comorbid substance abuse.

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