Perceived social status and suicidal ideation in maltreated children and adolescents
Dickerson, K.L., Milojevich, H.M., & Quas, J.A.
Recent decades have seen an alarming increase in rates of suicide among young people, including children and adolescents (“youth”). Although child maltreatment constitutes a well-established risk factor for suicidal ideation in youth, few efforts have focused on identifying factors associated with maltreated youths’ increased risk for suicidal ideation, especially across development. The present study examined the relations between maltreated youths’ (N = 279, M = 12.06 years, 52% female, 53% Latinx) perceptions of their social status and suicidal ideation and compared those relations between pre-adolescents and adolescents. Findings revealed unique developmental patterns: Perceived social status was associated with suicidal ideation, but only in adolescents, who showed greater risk for suicidal ideation if they viewed themselves as lower ranked in society and lower risk for suicidal ideation if they viewed themselves as higher ranked in society. Findings have implications for scientific and practical efforts aimed at better understanding and preventing suicide in a high-risk developmental population.