Family environment as a moderator of the association between anxiety and suicidal ideation.
The present study examined associations among anxiety symptoms, anxiety disorder diagnoses, perceptions of family support and conflict, and suicidal ideation (SI) in a clinical sample of psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents. Participants were 185 adolescents (72% female; 84% white, mean age=15.02years, SD=1.33) hospitalized on an acute psychiatric inpatient unit. Results indicated that anxiety disorders and symptoms were positively associated with SI, even after controlling for mood disorder diagnoses and sex. Moreover, this relationship was stronger among youth who reported lower (versus higher) levels of family support. Family conflict was positively associated with SI but did not moderate the relationship between anxiety and SI. Results suggest that family support may represent an important intervention target to decrease suicide risk among anxious youth. Integrating positive parenting techniques (e.g., attending to positive behaviors, providing praise, emotion coaching) and effective parent-child communication into treatment with anxious youth may help achieve this aim.
Machell, KA; Rallis, BA; Esposito-Smythers, C
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