Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adolescent psychiatric inpatients
Alqueza, K.L., Pagliaccio, D., Durham, K., Srinivasan, A., Stewart, J.G. & Auerbach, R.P.
Background: Given low base rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) in national samples of adolescents, clarifying the sociodemographic and clinical correlates among psychiatric inpatients may afford insights into potential risk factors that predict STBs onset. Method: Adolescents (N = 970; ages 12-19 years) admitted for acute, psychiatric inpatient care completed baseline clinical interviews and self-report measures assessing demographics and early life adversity. Lifetime and 12-month STBs prevalence were obtained, allowing for the estimate of STBs persistence (i.e., rates of those with both current and past STBs) and transition rates (i.e., proportion of ideators that transition to plans or attempts). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression tested sociodemographic and clinical correlates of STBs. Results: Age-of-onset for STBs occurred in early adolescence. Most patients reported suicide ideation with nearly half of patients making a plan and one-third a suicide attempt. Although relatively modest, the strongest correlates of lifetime attempts were depressive disorders, physical abuse, and non-suicidal self-injury. Knowing a peer that had attempted suicide also increased the likelihood of a suicide attempt, especially among attempters who transitioned from ideation to planned attempts. Conclusion: STBs are highly prevalent among adolescents admitted for acute psychiatric inpatient treatment. The modest effects suggest that correlates, particularly those related to suicide attempts, are widely distributed. As a history of physical abuse and knowing a peer with a suicide attempt history are related to transitioning from ideation to action, these may be critical factors to target in the deployment of future suicide prevention and treatment programs.