Precipitating Events in Adolescent Suicidal Crises: Exploring Stress-Reactive and Nonreactive Risk Profiles

Authors

  • Ryan M. Hill BA,

    1. RyanM.Hill,Jeremy W.Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; Kelly L.Green, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Sharon T.Morgan, Department of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, USA; Dawnelle J.Schatte, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
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  • Jeremy W. Pettit PhD,

    1. RyanM.Hill,Jeremy W.Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; Kelly L.Green, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Sharon T.Morgan, Department of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, USA; Dawnelle J.Schatte, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
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  • Kelly L. Green PhD,

    1. RyanM.Hill,Jeremy W.Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; Kelly L.Green, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Sharon T.Morgan, Department of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, USA; Dawnelle J.Schatte, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
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  • Sharon T. Morgan PhD,

    1. RyanM.Hill,Jeremy W.Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; Kelly L.Green, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Sharon T.Morgan, Department of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, USA; Dawnelle J.Schatte, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
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  • Dawnelle J. Schatte MD

    1. RyanM.Hill,Jeremy W.Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; Kelly L.Green, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Sharon T.Morgan, Department of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, USA; Dawnelle J.Schatte, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
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This research was supported in part by a grant from the University of Houston. We thank Holly Casciani, Monique Fontes, Monica Garza, Kelly Grover, Lindsey Monteith, Amber Paukert, Amanda Venta, and Ilya Yaroslavsky for their assistance with this project.Address correspondence to Jeremy Pettit, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199; E-mail: jpettit@fiu.edu

Abstract

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.

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