Predicting adolescent suicidality: Comparing multiple informants and assessment techniques

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15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adolescent suicidality is a serious problem among American youth. Common risk factors for adolescent suicidality include depression and conduct problems but there is little agreement on the best means to assess these factors. We compared multiple informants (mothers, fathers, the adolescent and a sibling) and multiple assessment techniques using a sample of more than 460 families. Assessment techniques included paper-pencil instruments, observer ratings, and diagnostic interviews. Suicidality was assessed concurrently and two years after the risk assessment. Adolescent-reported paper-pencil instruments and diagnostic interviews were strongly associated with concurrent and future suicidality. Parents' report of adolescent feelings and behaviors were also useful. Observed behaviors were not useful in assessing suicidality risk factors. Clinical recommendations include utilizing paper-pencil and diagnostic adolescent risk factor assessment and focusing on emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-631
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is currently supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health (HD047573, HD051746, and MH051361) and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (Project No. MN-52-079). Support for earlier years of the study also came from multiple sources, including the National Institute of Mental Health (MH00567, MH19734, MH43270, MH59355, MH62989, and MH48165), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA05347), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD027724), the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health (MCJ-109572), and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Adolescent Development Among Youth in High-Risk Settings.

Copyright:
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Adolescent suicidality
  • Multiple informants
  • Multiple techniques
  • Suicide assessment

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