Gender role in adolescent suicidal behavior: observations and therapeutic implications

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1993 Jan;87(1):59-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1993.tb03330.x.


We analyzed the relative seriousness of suicide attempts by boys based on 430 hospitalized suicide attempters ages 13 to 19 years. A comparison by sex of adolescent suicide attempters with a school population of non-suicidal adolescents of the same age group shows greater differences in the areas of school failure, psychosomatic and distress-related symptoms and substance abuse between suicidal and non-suicidal boys than between suicidal and non-suicidal girls. These findings suggest that compared with non-suicidal boys and girls, suicidal boys show more deviant behavior than girls. The question then arises as to whether there are differences in the treatment received by male and female suicide attempters. On hospital admission, more boys than girls are sent to psychiatric wards, and boys are proposed follow-up care more frequently than girls. On the other hand, boys and girls are not treated differently with respect to psychiatric consultations during hospitalization or coordination with outside physicians (family doctor, school doctor, other physicians) and the social services. These findings could serve as the basis for the development of specific treatment plans to meet the needs of suicidal boys.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Aftercare / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Gender Identity*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data