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J Affect Disord. 2008 Jan;105(1-3):221-8. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

Current psychiatric morbidity, aggression/impulsivity, and personality dimensions in child and adolescent suicide: a case-control study.

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Depressive Disorders Program, and the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4H 1R3.



The present study was designed to evaluate psychiatric risk factors for child and adolescent suicide, and to determine the association between impulsive-aggressive and other personality traits, and suicide completion in this population.


Psychiatric diagnoses, impulsive-aggressive and other personality traits were assessed in 55 child and adolescent suicide victims and 55 community controls using semi-structured proxy-based interviews and questionnaires.


The most significant psychiatric risk factors associated with child and adolescent suicide were depressive disorders (OR=48.414, 95% CI 6.247-375.185), substance/alcohol abuse disorder (OR=5.365, 95% CI 1.434-20.076), and disruptive disorders (OR=13.643, 95% CI 2.292-23.16). Additionally, suicide victims showed higher scores on lifetime aggression/impulsivity, and harm avoidance. However, after logistic regression, the only independent significant predictors of suicide in this age group were the presence of depressive disorders (Adjusted OR (AOR)=39.652, 95% CI 4.501-349.345), substance/alcohol abuse disorders (AOR=7.325, 95% CI 1.127-47.62), and disruptive disorders (AOR=6.464, 95% CI 1.422-29.38).


Relatively small sample size, and cross-sectional design.


Our findings confirm the existence of a particular clinical profile of children and adolescents at high risk for suicide. Additionally, our results reinforce the need for improved understanding of the interrelationships between stressors, depression, substance/alcohol abuse disorders, disruptive disorders and personality traits/dimensions in youth suicidal behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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