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Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Jun 15;49(12):1055-61.

Diagnosis of childhood and adolescent suicidal behavior: unmet needs for suicide prevention.

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New York Presbyterian Hospital--Westchester Division, White Plains, NY 10605, USA.


This article highlights strategies for diagnosing risk for childhood and adolescent suicidal behavior. Empirical studies identifying risk factors for childhood and adolescent suicidal behavior guided recommendations for suicide risk assessment. Diagnostic assessment involves identification of multiple factors including demographic characteristics, suicidal behavior, psychopathology, interpersonal problems, family discord, family psychopathology, accessibility of lethal suicide methods, exposure to suicide, and protective factors. Interview methods and self-report questionnaires are reliable and valid in identifying suicidal risk but are limited by low base rates of suicide. Identification of risk factors as foci for intervention is important for suicide prevention.

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