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J Affect Disord. 2001 Mar;63(1-3):59-66.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts among adolescents: a longitudinal 8-year follow-up study.

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1
Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, 20520 Turku, Finland. andre.sourander@utu.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To study the prevalence of and factors associated with suicidal behaviour among 580 adolescents.

METHODS:

An 8-year longitudinal study included questions about suicidal attempts and thoughts at age 16. Children were evaluated with parent and teacher Rutter scales and self-reported Child Depression Inventory at age 8. At age 16, parents filled in the Child Behaviour Check List and adolescents the Youth Self Report.

RESULTS:

14% of girls and 7% of boys reported suicidal thoughts or preoccupations at age 16. Emotional and behavioural problems at age 8, especially antisocial symptoms, reported by parents and teachers and depressive symptoms reported by the child were correlated with suicidal thoughts and behaviour 8 years later. At age 16, internalizing and externalizing problems and low social competence were associated with suicidal features. Only about 20% of those who reported suicidal features had been referred to child mental health services.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many adolescents with suicidal thoughts and behaviour had a high rate of behavioural and emotional problems already at age 8.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The early school years represent an opportunity for interventions which may prevent self-destructive behaviours in adolescence.

PMID:
11246081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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