Suicidal ideation in adolescent psychiatric inpatients as associated with depression and attachment relationships

J M DiFilippo, J C Overholser
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 2000, 29 (2): 155-66
Examined suicidal ideation in adolescent psychiatric inpatients as associated with depressive symptoms and attachment to mother, father, and peers. Fifty-nine adolescent psychiatric inpatients (25 male, 34 female) completed self-report measures of suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, and attachment. Attachment to mother accounted for significant variation in levels of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. In addition, attachment to peers accounted for significant variation in suicidal ideation and girls' (but not boys') depressive symptoms. However, after adjusting for depressive symptoms, attachment variables failed to contribute additional variance in suicidal ideation. Self-reported depressive symptomatology remained the strongest predictor of suicidal ideation, regardless of its order in the regression analyses. Prevention and treatment efforts may focus on mother-adolescent attachment and peer attachment (particularly in girls) to reduce risk for depression and suicidal ideation.

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