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Suicidal adolescents after hospitalization: parent and family impacts on treatment follow-through.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.



To help determine optimal strategies for treating suicidal adolescents, the authors studied family predictors of compliance with recommended psychotropic medication monitoring, individual therapy, and parent guidance/family therapy sessions.


Sixty-six hospitalized, suicidal adolescents participated in a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and depression/suicidality assessment. Family/parental assessment measures were the Family Assessment Device, Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (parent-adolescent subscales), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, and Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report. Follow-up evaluation, 6 months posthospitalization, consisted of structured telephone interviews assessing treatment follow-through.


Compliance with recommended medication follow-up (66.7%) and individual therapy (50.8%) was better than compliance with parent guidance/family therapy (33.3%) sessions. The most dysfunctional families and those with the least involved/affectionate father-adolescent relationships had the poorest follow-through with parent guidance/family therapy. Mothers' depressive and paranoid symptoms were linked with less adolescent individual therapy and family therapy follow-through. Mothers' hostility was associated with less medication follow-up.


Follow-through was best for medication and individual therapy. Multiple family/parental predictors of poor follow-through suggest the need for alternative or supplemental treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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