Suicidal ideation in adolescence—an indicator of actual risk?

Urban Groleger, Martina Tomori, Marga Kocmur
Israel Journal of Psychiatry and related Sciences 2003, 40 (3): 202-8

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to assess both the frequency of suicidal ideation and also its link to other risk factors for suicidal behavior in the community population of adolescents.

METHOD: In the study, we have used a structured questionnaire for assessing the risk factors for suicidal behavior, and self-assessment scales for measuring depression and self-esteem. The research included 4,692 adolescents aged from 14 to 19 years. The sample is representative of the population of Slovene high school students.

RESULTS: The prevalence of suicidal ideation was 44% at anytime in respondent's life, and 10.3% during the recent month, and statistically significantly more frequent in girls than in boys. Suicidal ideation proved to be linked to high level of depression and low self-esteem, and also to the important psychosocial risk factors for suicidal behavior, such as: tendency to react on stress by consuming alcohol, alcohol and substance abuse, frequent conflicts with parents and frequently running away from home, pessimism about the future and self estimation of high probability of suicide in the future.

CONCLUSIONS: Suicidal ideation is an important suicide risk factor in adolescence, and requires adequate attention among all other relevant risk factors.

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