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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1995 Summer;25(2):211-21.

Attitudes toward the body in suicidal, depressed, and normal adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.


Our purpose was to investigate the hypothesis that suicidal adolescents, compared with depressed nonsuicidal and nonsuicidal normal adolescents, display a more negative attitude toward their bodies. Scales for suicidal tendencies, dissociative tendencies, perception of actual versus ideal body features, and feelings toward the body were administered to the subjects. The suicidal subjects showed a larger perceived discrepancy between actual versus ideal body features and a more negative feeling toward the body, and scored higher on some aspects of dissociation than the normal group. The suicidal group also displayed more negative feelings toward the body and scored higher on some aspects of dissociation than the depressed group. A series of correlations showed that the higher the suicidal tendency, the higher the dissociation, the larger the discrepancy, and the stronger the negative feelings toward the body. The findings were explained as reflecting unique characteristics of suicidal individuals that develop from early trauma and sadomasochistic relationships. These characteristics may facilitate suicidal behavior.

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