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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2020 Jan 30. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12615. [Epub ahead of print]

Contemporary Characteristics and Lethality Correlates of Serious Suicide Attempts in Children and Adolescents.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Adolescent suicide rates have increased in the past decade. Few studies have examined contemporary pediatric suicide attempters with medically serious suicide attempts, particularly among younger pediatric suicide attempters.

METHOD:

This preliminary chart review study examined 200 adolescents with medically serious suicide attempts and sought to identify general cohort characteristics, differences in cohort characteristics based on age, correlates of lethality, and correlates of rescue (likelihood of prompt medical attention).

RESULTS:

Our study found that younger adolescents specifically endorsed increased cyberbullying (β = 1.1, p = .046) and less hopelessness (β = -0.83, p = .02) compared to older adolescents. Suicide attempt lethality was negatively associated with female gender (β = -0.59, p = .041), rescue (β = -0.19, p = .005), an anxiety diagnosis (β = -0.81, p = .0003), and history of consensual sexual activity (β = -0.79, p = .002). Rescue was positively associated with an ADHD diagnosis (β = 0.73, p = .018) and less attempt planning (β = 0.96, p = .01), while a history of previous suicide attempt (β = -0.54, p = .04) and more proximal suicide attempt (β = -0.045, p = .008) were associated with a lower rescue score.

CONCLUSION:

Our preliminary findings suggest clinicians and future researchers may need to assess certain social and diagnostic factors in children and adolescents at particularly high risk for death by suicide.

PMID:
32003058
DOI:
10.1111/sltb.12615

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