Asking adolescents to explain discrepancies in self-reported suicidality

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Summer 1998;28(2):187-96.


We present a typology of adolescents' most common explanations for discrepant reporting of suicidal behavior. Forty-eight adolescents provided attempt histories by completing a self-report measure of suicidality. A select number of items were subsequently readministered (average interval = 5 days) using a semistructured interview format. Discrepancies in reporting were found among 50% of the sample. Adolescents were also asked to clarify, using an open-ended format, what might have accounted for a particular discrepancy. Based on these responses, seven mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories were derived. High rates of interrater agreement indicated that these categories were reliable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / classification
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / classification*
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology*