European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 174–180

Suicidality in adjustment disorder

Clinical characteristics of adolescent outpatients

Authors

    • Department of Mental Health and Alcohol ResearchNational Public Health Institute
    • Department of Adolescent PsychiatryPeijas Hospital Helsinki University Hospital
  • Mauri Marttunen
    • Department of Mental Health and Alcohol ResearchNational Public Health Institute
    • Department of Adolescent PsychiatryPeijas Hospital Helsinki University Hospital
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Oulu
  • Markus Henriksson
    • Central Military Hospital, Finnish Defence Forces
  • Jouko Lönnqvist
    • Department of Mental Health and Alcohol ResearchNational Public Health Institute
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0457-8

Cite this article as:
Pelkonen, M., Marttunen, M., Henriksson, M. et al. Europ.Child & Adolescent Psych (2005) 14: 174. doi:10.1007/s00787-005-0457-8

Abstract

Objective

Although a remarkable proportion of adolescents suffering from adjustment disorder (AD) are suicidal, few studies have documented the characteristics of suicidal AD patients. We examined background, psychopathology and treatment-related factors among suicidal adolescent AD outpatients.

Method

Data on 302 consecutively referred psychiatric outpatient adolescents, aged 12–22 years, were collected. DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned at the end of treatment based on all available data. Of the patients 89 received a diagnosis of AD, 25% of whom showed suicide attempts, suicidal threats or ideation.

Results

Compared with non-suicidal AD patients, suicidal AD patients were characterized by previous psychiatric treatment (OR=6.1), poor psychosocial functioning at treatment entry (OR=16.2), suicide as a stressor (OR=33.3), dysphoric mood (OR=6.9) and psychomotor restlessness (OR=3.7).

Conclusions

Common risk factors for suicidality in major psychiatric disorders characterized suicidal AD patients. Psychiatric assessment of AD patients should include careful monitoring of both symptomatology and exposure to suicide of significant others.

Key words

suicidalityadolescenceadjustment disorderpsychiatric treatmentprecipitant stressors

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2005