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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.