Cognitive risk factors and suicide attempts among formerly hospitalized adolescents: a prospective naturalistic study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between cognitive variables and time until suicide attempts among 180 adolescents who were monitored for as much as 6.9 years after discharge from an inpatient psychiatry unit. METHOD: In a prospective naturalistic study, adolescents were assessed at the time of their psychiatric hospitalization and semiannually thereafter. Suicidal behavior at index hospitalization and over the follow-up period was assessed with semistructured psychiatric diagnostic interviews. At hospitalization, cognitive risk factors were assessed with a problem-solving task and with questionnaires assessing hopelessness, expectations for posthospitalization suicidal behavior, reasons for living, and dysfunctional attitudes. RESULTS: Expectations about future suicidal behavior were related to posthospitalization suicide attempts. Among youths with previous suicide attempts, higher levels of hopelessness were associated with increased risk, and greater survival and coping beliefs were associated with decreased risk for posthospitalization suicide attempts. Hopelessness and survival and coping beliefs were not related to posthospitalization attempts among adolescents without prior suicidal behavior, and hopelessness was not predictive after controlling for overall severity of depression. CONCLUSIONS: Expectations for suicidal behavior, hopelessness, and survival and coping beliefs provide important prognostic information about later suicidal behavior and should be targeted in interventions with suicidal youths.
Goldston, DB; Daniel, SS; Reboussin, BA; Reboussin, DM; Frazier, PH; Harris, AE
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