Suicidality and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Maria PanagiotiEmail author
  • Patricia A. Gooding
  • Kalliopi Triantafyllou
  • Nicholas Tarrier



There is growing evidence in the literature that a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an important contributory factor to suicidality in adolescents. However, there is no existing review of the literature examining the relationship between PTSD and suicidality in adolescents. This study aims to provide the first systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between PTSD and suicidality in adolescents.


Five bibliographic databases (Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science and PILOT) were screened for suitable articles. Twenty-eight studies (which provided 28 independent samples) were included in the review. The overall meta-analyses of the association between PTSD and suicidality were followed by subgroup and meta-regression analyses.


A highly significant positive association was found between PTSD and suicidality (d = 0.701, 95 % CI 0.555–0.848). The subgroup and meta-regression analyses showed that the association between PTSD and suicidality persisted whilst adjusting for various sources of between-study heterogeneity, such as, different levels of severity of suicidality, target groups, and methodological quality of the studies.


Suicidality in adolescents with PTSD is a major problem which requires further research effort. The implications of these results are discussed.


Suicidality Posttraumatic stress disorder Children and adolescents Meta-analysis 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Panagioti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patricia A. Gooding
    • 2
  • Kalliopi Triantafyllou
    • 2
  • Nicholas Tarrier
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Population HealthUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.School of Psychological SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Institute of PsychiatryKings College LondonLondonUK

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