Informant-specific correlates of suicidal behavior in a community survey of 12- to 14-year-olds

Jean-Jacques Breton, Michel Tousignant, Lise Bergeron, Claude Berthiaume
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2002, 41 (6): 723-30

OBJECTIVES: To arrive at a better estimation of informant-specific correlates of suicidal behavior in young adolescents and to see how agreements and discrepancies between child and parent informants can contribute to the development of research and interventions.

METHOD: The weighted sample from the Quebec Child Mental Health Survey conducted in 1992 included 825 adolescents, aged 12 to 14 years, and their parents. The adolescent and one parent were questioned by two different interviewers. The response rate was 80.3%. Three categories of independent variables were assessed: adolescent, family, and socioeconomic characteristics. Logistic regression models were based on the adolescent and parent informant reports.

RESULTS: Parents identified 6 of the 59 adolescents having reported suicidal ideation and 2 of the 36 adolescents having reported suicide attempts. Two informant-specific models of correlates of suicidal behavior were found. The adolescent model included internalizing and externalizing mental disorders, family stressful events, and parent-adolescent relationship difficulties, while the parent model included perceiving a need for help for the adolescent, parent's depressive disorders, and parent-adolescent relationship difficulties.

CONCLUSION: The study shows the relevance of considering informant-specific correlates of suicidal behavior in the development of research and interventions targeting youths suicidal behavior.

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