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One-year follow-up of suicidal adolescents: parental history of mental health problems and time to post-hospitalization attempt

Cheryl A King, David C R Kerr, Michael N Passarelli, Cynthia Ewell Foster, Christopher R Merchant
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2010, 39 (3): 219-32
19967398
This longitudinal study of recently hospitalized suicidal youth examined parental mental health history in addition to several indices of adolescent functioning as risk factors for time-to-suicide attempt over a 1-year period. Participants were 352 adolescents (253 girls, 99 boys; ages 13-17 years) who participated in self-report and interview assessments within 1 week of hospitalization and 6 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months post-hospitalization. Multivariable proportional hazards regression modeled time-to-suicide attempt. Results indicate that adolescents were almost twice as likely to make a suicide attempt if they had at least one biological parent with mental health problems. Risk was also increased for adolescents with baseline histories of multiple previous suicide attempts, more severe suicidal ideation and more severe functional impairment. Findings suggest the need to consider the family system when intervening with suicidal youth.

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