Thursday, May 23, 2013

Exposure to Suicide Predicts Increased Suicidality in Adolescents, Study Finds

Exposure to suicide can lead to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adolescents, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported in the May 21 Canadian Medical Association Journal. Their finding was based on responses from 8,766 Canadian adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, carried out from 1998 to 2007. Study participants were asked whether anyone in their school had died by suicide and whether they personally knew anyone who had died by suicide. Social support for the youths and stressful life events were also assessed in the study. The prevalence of exposure to a schoolmate's suicide and personally knowing someone who died by suicide increased with age, and such exposure was consistently associated with suicide attempts and, to a lesser degree, with suicidal ideation.

"Our results support schoolwide interventions over current targeted interventions, particularly over strategies that target interventions toward children closest to the decedent," the researchers concluded.

Experts say that patient involvement is key to any suicide-prevention strategy's success. Read more on that topic in Psychiatric News here. And find more information about such strategies in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management, Second Edition, available here.

(Image: Piotr Marcinski/


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