Parent-child relationships as systems of support or risk for adolescent suicidality

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This study examined a process model of predicting adolescent suicidality. Adolescent emotional distress was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between parental behaviors and subsequent adolescent suicidality. The parental behaviors studied included parental warmth and parental hostility. A sample of 451 families from rural Iowa participated in this longitudinal study, which included both observational and self-report data. Models were tested with structural equation modeling. Adolescent emotional distress was found to be a mediating variable between paternal warmth and adolescent suicidality. Results indicated that maternal warmth predicted adolescent suicidality but not emotional distress. Parental hostility did not predict either latent variable. Clinical implications are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Adolescent suicidality
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Parental
  • Parental warmth


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