Suicide Attempts and Course of Suicidal Ideation among Puerto Rican Early Adolescents
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Suicidal behavior increases substantially during early adolescence, a critical understudied developmental period. This study reports on the prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and course of suicidal ideation among Puerto Rican early adolescents, a high-risk group for suicidal behavior in adulthood. Gender differences and the prospective association of psychiatric disorders with course of suicidal ideation are examined. Participants were 1228 Puerto Rican adolescents (ages 10–13 at wave 1; 48% female) and parents, selected through probability-based sampling, assessed yearly across three waves. Adolescents and parents reported via Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV about 12-month suicide attempts and suicidal ideation (further categorized as never present, onset, recurrence, and remission), mood and anxiety disorders; parents reported on disruptive disorders. Over the three waves, 9.5% early adolescents thought about suicide and 2.1% attempted suicide. In adjusted multinomial regression models, compared to those with never present suicidal ideation, female gender was related to onset of suicidal ideation (OR = 2.60; 95% CI, 1.22–5.55). Disruptive disorders were related to onset (OR = 5.80; 95% CI, 2.06–16.32) and recurrence of suicidal ideation (OR = 5.07, 95% CI, 1.14–22.47), mood disorders were related to remission (OR = 14.42, 95% CI, 3.90–53.23), and anxiety disorders to onset of suicidal ideation (OR = 3.68, 95% CI, 1.75–7.73). Our findings inform strategies tailored for early adolescents. To address onset of suicidal ideation, prevention should focus on girls and those with anxiety or disruptive disorders. When ideation is recurrent, interventions oriented to reduce disruptive behavior and its consequences may help achieve remission.
KeywordsEarly adolescence Suicidal ideation Suicide attempts Longitudinal studies Developmental psychopathology
Thank you to the Boricua Youth Study research group at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center. The Boricua Youth Study has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, grant numbers: MH56401 (Bird); DA033172 (Duarte); AA020191 (Duarte); MH098374 (Alegria, Canino, Duarte); HD060072 (Martins, Duarte, Canino); HL125761 (Suglia); and UG3OD023328-01 (Duarte, Canino, Monk, Posner).
The Boricua Youth Study has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, grant numbers: MH56401 (Bird); DA033172 (Duarte); AA020191 (Duarte); MH098374 (Alegria, Canino, Duarte); HD060072 (Martins, Duarte, Canino); HL125761 (Suglia); and UG3OD023328–01 (Duarte, Canino, Monk, Posner).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the University of Puerto Rico Medical School. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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