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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Risk factors and behaviors among children and adolescents hospitalized for a suicidal attempt]

Mónica Edith Bella
Revista Médica de Chile 2012, 140 (11): 1417-24
23677187

BACKGROUND: Suicidal behavior is the result of the interaction of several factors and represents an increasing health problem.

AIM: To characterize epidemiologically children and adolescents with suicidal attempts and compare them to a control group.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A case-control and prospective study, based on clinical interviews and tests performed to 30 children and adolescents hospitalized due to a suicidal attempt and their parents or tutors, (GIS) and 40 ambulatory controls without such history (CG). Psychopathological disorders, risk behaviors (substance use, maltreatment, peer violence, sexual abuse and early sexual relations), family factors and their association with suicidal attempts, were analyzed.

RESULTS: Seventy seven percent of participants with a history of suicidal attempt had psychopathological disorders (depression in 38%) and a higher prevalence of suicidal behavior, maltreatment, substance and sexual abuse. Male sex was a risk factor for suicide among children under 12 years and female sex was a risk factor for adolescents aged over 12 years. Other risk factors detected were a risky communication between parents and siblings.

CONCLUSIONS: Children and adolescents who attempted suicide and their families have a higher prevalence of risk behaviors than the control group.

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