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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Individual Differences Research|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2004|