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Little is known about when youth may be at greatest risk for attempting suicide, which is critically important information for the parents, caregivers, and professionals who care for youth at risk. This study used adolescent and parent reports, and a case-crossover, within-subject design to identify 24-hour warning signs (WS) for suicide attempts.
Adolescents (N = 1094, ages 13 to 18) with one or more suicide risk factors were enrolled and invited to complete bi-weekly, 8–10 item text message surveys for 18 months. Adolescents who reported a suicide attempt (survey item) were invited to participate in an interview regarding their thoughts, feelings/emotions, and behaviors/events during the 24-hours prior to their attempt (case period) and a prior 24-hour period (control period). Their parents participated in an interview regarding the adolescents’ behaviors/events during these same periods. Adolescent or adolescent and parent interviews were completed for 105 adolescents (81.9% female; 66.7% White, 19.0% Black, 14.3% other).
Both parent and adolescent reports of suicidal communications and withdrawal from social and other activities differentiated case and control periods. Adolescent reports also identified feelings (self-hate, emotional pain, rush of feelings, lower levels of rage toward others), cognitions (suicidal rumination, perceived burdensomeness, anger/hostility), and serious conflict with parents as WS in multi-variable models.
This study identified 24-hour WS in the domains of cognitions, feelings, and behaviors/events, providing an evidence base for the dissemination of information about signs of proximal risk for adolescent suicide attempts.
Near-term risk factors for suicidal behavior, referred to as ‘warning signs’ (WS), distinguish periods of acute heightened risk from periods of lower risk within an individual. No prior published study has examined, using a controlled study design, a broad set of hypothesized WS for suicide attempt. This study addressed this gap through examination of hypothesized behavioral/experiential, cognitive, and affective WS among patients recently hospitalized following a suicide attempt.
Participants were recruited during hospitalization from five medical centers across the USA including two civilian hospitals and three Veterans Health Administration facilities (n = 349). A within-person case-crossover study design was used, where each patient served as her/his own control. WS were measured by the Timeline Follow-back for Suicide Attempts Interview and were operationalized as factors that were present (v. absent) or that increased in frequency/intensity within an individual during the 6 h preceding the suicide attempt (case period) compared to the corresponding 6 h on the day before (control period).
Select WS were associated with near-term risk for suicide attempt including suicide-related communications, preparing personal affairs, drinking alcohol, experiencing a negative interpersonal event, and increases in key affective (e.g. emptiness) and cognitive (e.g. burdensomeness) responses.
The identification of WS for suicidal behavior can enhance risk recognition efforts by medical providers, patients, their families, and other stakeholders that can serve to inform acute risk management decisions.
Although research has been conducted on the course, consequences, and correlates of borderline personality disorder (BPD), little is known about its emergence in childhood, and no studies have examined the extent to which theoretical models of the pathogenesis of BPD in adults are applicable to the correlates of borderline personality symptoms in children. The goal of this study was to examine the interrelationships between two BPD-relevant personality traits (affective dysfunction and disinhibition), self- and emotion-regulation deficits, and childhood borderline personality symptoms among 263 children aged 9 to 13. We predicted that affective dysfunction, disinhibition, and their interaction would be associated with childhood borderline personality symptoms, and that self- and emotion-regulation deficits would mediate these relationships. Results provided support for the roles of both affective dysfunction and disinhibition (in the form of sensation seeking) in childhood borderline personality symptoms, as well as their hypothesized interaction. Further, both self- and emotion-regulation deficits partially mediated the relationship between affective dysfunction and childhood borderline personality symptoms. Finally, results provided evidence of different gender-based pathways to childhood borderline personality symptoms, suggesting that models of BPD among adults are more relevant to understanding the factors associated with borderline personality symptoms among girls than boys.
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