Body image and suicidal ideation in adolescents

Amy M Brausch, Jennifer J Muehlenkamp
Body Image 2007, 4 (2): 207-12
Data from 231 adolescents (mean age=15.7, SD=1.39) were collected from a public school setting in the United States. Participants completed several measures, including those assessing depression, hopelessness, past suicidal behavior, body image, and current suicidal ideation. It was hypothesized that depression, hopelessness, past suicidal behavior, and body image (a risk factor seldom examined) would significantly predict current suicidal ideation and that there would be gender differences for body image. Regression analyses indicated that all risk factors including body image were significant predictors of current suicidal ideation for the whole sample. For both males and females, body image offered a unique contribution to the measurement of suicide ideation above and beyond the other risk factors, with body attitudes/feelings being the strongest predictor. Results encourage the inclusion of body image as a variable in risk models for adolescent suicidal ideation, as it likely accounts for additional variance above and beyond traditional risk factors.

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