Psychosocial factors correlated with undisclosed suicide attempts to significant others: Findings from the Adolescence SEYLE Study
Levi-Belz, Y., Bagish-Marom, T., Barzilay, S., Apter, A., Carli, V., Hoven, C. ... Wasserman, D.
Suicide attempt (SA) is recognized as one of the risk factors for completed suicides. The concealment of this behavior often hinders detection and management of suicide risk. Thus, in this study, we sought to shed light on adolescents’ psychosocial processes that could facilitate disclosure of SAs. Specifically, we sought to identify antecedents of adolescent SAs that had not been revealed to significant others.
A high school sample) N = 990 (completed a self‐report questionnaire tapping psychiatric, personal, and interpersonal characteristics, as well as suicidality, as part of the SEYLE project. Twenty‐seven adolescents acknowledged having made an SA without disclosing it to parents or to other significant others. They were compared with 47 adolescents who made SAs that were communicated to others and with a control group of 916 adolescents having no history of suicidal behavior.
Compared with disclosures and controls, non‐disclosing suicide attempters were characterized by higher levels of suicide ideation, distress, and victimization. Low levels of self‐disclosure and parental support were significantly associated with undisclosed SAs.
Interpersonal difficulties may be related to loneliness and a thwarted sense of belongingness, which may explain the failure to disclose SAs. Implications related to assessment and prevention are discussed.