Precipitating events in adolescent suicidal crises: exploring stress-reactive and nonreactive risk profiles

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2012 Feb;42(1):11-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00067.x.


Factors distinguishing adolescents who experienced a precipitating event in the week preceding a suicidal crisis from those who did not were examined. Among 130 suicidal inpatients (mean age = 15.01 years), those who experienced a precipitating event reported significantly lower depressive symptom scores, better perceived problem solving, less suicidal intent, and a lower rate of prior suicide attempts than those without a precipitating event. Levels of trait impulsivity, suicidal ideation, and current attempt status did not differentiate groups. Findings provide preliminary evidence consistent with at least two possible pathways to a suicidal crisis. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Problem Solving
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*