Psychiatric and substance use disorders as risk factors for attempted suicide among adolescents: a case control study

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Fall 2002;32(3):301-12. doi: 10.1521/suli.32.3.301.22168.


The objective of this research was to test substance-related and non-substance-related psychiatric disorders as predictors of attempted suicide among adolescents. Ninety-six psychiatrically disordered suicide attempters were matched one-to-one to 96 psychiatrically disordered non-attempters on age, race, gender, and the presence/absence of major depression. Conditional logistic regression was used to test psychiatric risk factors for their power to predict attempted suicide among adolescents. Bipolar disorder, cocaine use disorders, and conduct disorder were found to be predictive of attempted suicide in univariate testing. Bipolar disorder, inhalant use disorders, cocaine use disorders, and hallucinogen use disorders were found to be predictive of attempted suicide, after adjusting for all other covariates. Loglinear analyses revealed high odds ratios associated with the comorbidities of alcohol use disorder with conduct disorder and drug use disorders with conduct disorder in both groups. Higher rates of cocaine use disorder/conduct disorder, hallucinogen use disorder/conduct disorder, and alcohol use disorder/ conduct disorder were found among suicide attempters. Evaluation of these particular comorbid conditions should be part of the adolescent suicide risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • United States