Suicidality and personality pathology in adolescence: A systematic review
Moselli, M., Casini, M.P., Frattini, C., & Williams, R.
This work presents a review of research papers examining the role of emerging personality pathology in suicidal ideation and behaviours in adolescence. Initially, 226 studies were selected in line with PRISMA guidelines, and 33 articles were finally included in this review. The data show percentages of any personality disorder diagnosis ranging from 19.5 to 22.8% in suicide attempters, while in autopsy studies, the rate of personality disorder diagnosis varied between 29.6 and 42.1%. The overwhelming majority of the studies focus on the role of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in suicidal behaviours, also highlighting its predictive role at a longitudinal level. Furthermore, the literature review shows that personality traits supposed to underlie BPD, such as affective instability, impulsivity and identity diffusion, have specific predictive links with suicidal conduct. Other personality pathology dimensions, such as aggressiveness, sadism and perfectionism that are associated with other personality disorders, namely, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, have also shown a significant mediating role for suicidal risk. Overall, these results seem to parallel the role of personality pathology in predicting suicide in adulthood and point to the relevance of assessing the presence of emerging patterns of personality disorders for the clinical management of suicidal risk in adolescence.