AIM: This study explored the relationships between suicidal adolescents and their parents, siblings, and friends. It examined how much adolescents talked to their parents before suicide attempts, the frequency of self-mutilation, the extent of suicidal ideation, previous suicide attempts and suicide attempts in the adolescent's surroundings.
METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional case-control study that focused on 381 adolescents aged 10-17 years who were admitted to hospitals across Denmark after suicide attempts with acetaminophen and 296 age and gender-matched controls recruited from schools. The study used questionnaires, medical and child psychiatric records.
RESULTS: The study group were ten times more likely to report dissociated parental relationships than the control group (41.5% versus 4%) and there were significant relationships between these reports and feelings of not being heard (p<0.0001), dissociated relationships with friends (p<0.0001) and siblings (p<0.0001) and self-mutilation (p=0.009). Almost two-thirds (62.5%) of the suicidal adolescents who tried to talk to their parents about their problems felt unheard and there was a significant relationship between this feeling and the duration of suicidal ideation (p=0.01) and self-mutilation (p=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: Early risk factors for suicide were dissociated relationships with parents, siblings and friends, feeling unheard, self-mutilation and extended suicidal ideation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.