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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997 Nov;38(8):921-9.

An investigation of adolescents' substance use behaviors, depressed affect, and suicidal behaviors.

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Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.


Data from a four-wave panel design of 975 adolescents were used to study inter-relationships among suicidal behaviors, depressive symptoms, and substance use behaviors. Persistently high levels of problem drinking and depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of suicidal thoughts and attempts. Higher levels of depressive symptoms and greater cigarette and illicit drug use distinguished suicidal ideators from attempters. Adolescents attempting suicide reported lower levels of family social support, a greater use of substances to cope with stressors, and a higher density of substance-using peers. Implications of the findings for preventive interventions with high-risk teens are discussed.

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