Year: 2018 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders. (2013). 145(3), 370-377. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.08.027 SIEC No: 20180709

Studies indicate that a dysfunctional attributional style, problem-solving deficits and hopelessness place youths at risk of developing suicidal thoughts and engaging in suicidal behaviour. However, in the realm of suicidality in adolescent, no study has examined the linkages between these three cognitive variables and suicidal ideation in non-clinical samples while taking into account the moderating role of gender on the relationships and controlling for depression.

In this community study of 712 adolescents 14-18 years of age, through a multivariate approach, the interaction between the cognitive variables, depression and gender was examined with depression controlled in the analyses.

Problem-solving deficits and hopelessness proved predictive of such ideation whether or not depressive symptoms were controlled in the analyses. Negative problem orientation/avoidant style was more predictive of ideation in boys than in girls. On the other hand, hopelessness was more predictive for girls than boys.

Results were based on a convenience community sample of adolescents and a cross-sectional survey.

Results suggest that a unique explanatory model of the suicide process in adolescence that fails to take account of gender would be ill informed. Suicide prevention strategies should be differentiated according to gender with a stronger emphasis in hopelessness in female adolescents, and problem-solving deficits in male adolescents.