Suicidal behavior and self-disclosure in adolescent psychiatric inpatients

Netta Horesh, Gil Zalsman, Alan Apter
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2004, 192 (12): 837-42
The inability to communicate feelings and thoughts to people close to oneself may be an important risk factor for suicidal behavior. This inability has been operationalized in the concept of self-disclosure. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the correlation of self-disclosure with suicidal behavior in adolescents. Eighty consecutive admissions to an adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit were evaluated. Thirty-four were suicide attempters, 18 were suicidal ideators, and 18 were nonsuicidal. Assessment measures included the Child Suicide Potential Scale, the Suicide Intent Scale, the Suicide Ideation Scale, and the Self-Disclosure Scale. The results show that low self-disclosure levels are associated with suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and suicidal attitudes. Thus, low self-disclosure may well be a risk factor worthy of further evaluation in the attempt to understand adolescent suicidal behavior.

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