Suicidal behaviors and alcohol use among adolescents: a developmental psychopathology perspective

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 May;28(5 Suppl):29S-37S. doi: 10.1097/


A developmental psychopathology conceptual model was provided to represent the major categories of risk and protective factors, including alcohol use and binge drinking, that predict suicidal behaviors that range from suicidal thoughts to completed suicides. The conceptual model emphasized the importance of identifying age-specific sets of risk and protective factors to facilitate the development of effective interventions. As an empirical illustration, a multivariate mediation path model was specified and evaluated with a sample of teens. Findings indicated that several distal variables (e.g., difficult temperament, coping motives for drinking, lower family support, higher percentage of friends using alcohol) significantly predicted mediators (e.g., depression, stressful events, binge drinking) that, in turn, predicted suicidal behaviors. Binge drinking significantly predicted suicide attempts over and above the influence of depression and stressful events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data