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August 2022

Suicidal behavior in chemically dependent adolescents

Author(s): Lavender, N.

Journal/Book: Adolescence. 1999; 34: 3089C Clairemont Dr Suite 383, San Diego, CA 92117, USA. Libra Publishers Inc. 735-744.

Abstract: Among 250 adolescents in a short-term residential treatment program for chemical dependency, 20% had attempted suicide in the two years prior to admission. Females, however, were found to have a higher attempt rate than did males. Suicide attempters were compared with a group of 50 nonsuicidal adolescents from the same treatment program and 50 non-chemically dependent, nonsuicidal high school students. Each adolescent was administered the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and a biographical history was obtained. The suicidal group was found to be more psychologically distressed than were the other two groups. Post hoc analysis revealed that there were significant differences between the chemically dependent groups (suicidal, nonsuicidal) on the Global Severity Index of the SCL-90-R, as well as the following subscales: Somatization, Depression, Anxiety, and Phobic Anxiety. It was also found that the majority of suicidal gestures or attempts had gone untreated beyond medical management. It was found that only 28% of the suicide attempters had received crisis intervention or emergency room treatment, and only 27% had received some type of follow-up treatment or counseling. These results are discussed, particularly in regard to the issue of ''covert suicide.''.

Note: Article Cavaiola AA, Monmouth Univ, Dept Psychol, W Long Branch, Long Branch,NJ 07764 USA


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