Adolescent suicide

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;22(1):1-6. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283155508.


Purpose of review: The present review summarizes the updated literature on adolescent suicide.

Recent findings: Reductions in youth suicide rates are probably related to use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors since the mid 1990s as well as restrictions in means and enhanced pesticide control. The serotonin theory of suicide has received more empirical support. Familial transmission of suicidal behavior may be mediated by transmission of impulsive aggression from parent to child and early detection of precursors of suicidal behavior can help identify families at high risk of having a suicidal child. A newly investigated social risk factor of bullying adolescents and the novel psychological construct of autobiographical memory all help to advance our understanding and treatment of suicidal youths. Much effort is needed in establishing more solid empirical evidence for suicide prevention programs and treatment, while assessment tools are still in desperate need of further development.

Summary: Suicidal behavior remains an important clinical problem and a major cause of death in youth. There are key issues that need to be solved for better prediction of suicidality, prevention and treatment of youth suicide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / therapy
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Suicide* / psychology
  • Suicide* / statistics & numerical data