Peer functioning, family dysfunction, and psychological symptoms in a risk factor model for adolescent inpatients' suicidal ideation severity

M J Prinstein, J Boergers, A Spirito, T D Little, W L Grapentine
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 2000, 29 (3): 392-405
Examined models of suicidal ideation severity that include two psychosocial risk factors (i.e., peer and family functioning) and four domains of psychological symptoms (i.e., generalized anxiety, depression, conduct problems, and substance abuse/dependence). Participants were 96 psychiatric inpatients (32 boys, 64 girls), ages 12 to 17, who were hospitalized because of concerns of suicidality. Adolescents completed a structured diagnostic interview, measures of suicidal ideation, and several dimensions of family and peer functioning. Results supported a model in which greater levels of perceived peer rejection and lower levels of close friendship support were associated directly with more severe suicidal ideation. In addition, indirect pathways included deviant peer affiliation and global family dysfunction related to suicidal ideation via substance use and depression symptoms. The results are among the first to demonstrate relations between suicidal ideation and several areas of adolescent peer functioning, as well as divergent processes for peer and family predictors of suicidal ideation.

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