Childhood attachment and adolescent suicide: A stepwise discriminant analysis in a case-comparison study

Claudio Violato, Juliette Arato

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24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined whether early attachment histories differentiated between suicidal and nonsuicidal adolescents. Employing a case-comparison design, community, nonsuicidal adolescents (comparison group; n = 35; mean age = 14.2, SD = 1.9) were compared to clinical adolescents (case group; n = 17; mean age = 15.8, SD = 1.01) on their attachment and developmental histories. Participants were recruited from an inpatient psychiatric assessment and treatment unit for adolescents at a major university hospital or the community. All participants were administered the Youth Self Report, Parental Bonding Instrument and the Adolescent Attachment Survey. A stepwise discriminant analyses resulted in a single function (Wilk's Lambda = .235, p < .001) discriminating between the suicidal and nonsuicidal adolescents on attachment variables (canonical r = .88), particularly attachment to mother (Cohen's d = 3.0). The discriminant function resulted in an overall correct classification rate of 94.23% between the case and comparison groups. Insecure attachment (especially to mother) in childhood, particularly affectionless control and lack of care, is related to suicidality in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalIndividual Differences Research
Volume2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

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