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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1998 Summer;28(2):187-96.

Asking adolescents to explain discrepancies in self-reported suicidality.

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Department of Psychological Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306-0520, USA.


We present a typology of adolescents' most common explanations for discrepant reporting of suicidal behavior. Forty-eight adolescents provided attempt histories by completing a self-report measure of suicidality. A select number of items were subsequently readministered (average interval = 5 days) using a semistructured interview format. Discrepancies in reporting were found among 50% of the sample. Adolescents were also asked to clarify, using an open-ended format, what might have accounted for a particular discrepancy. Based on these responses, seven mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories were derived. High rates of interrater agreement indicated that these categories were reliable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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