Date of Graduation
Suicide is a major health problem for adolescents. It is the sixth leading cause of death for five to 14 year-olds and the first and the third leading cause of death for adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. The purpose of this study was to extend the research on the risk factors of cognitively rigid behavior, impulsive behavior, and depression and to lay groundwork for the validation of cognitively rigid and impulsive personality traits of adolescent suicide attempters. The amount of time between thought and attempt was explored to extend the research on impulsivity. In this three-group design adolescent suicide attempters were compared to psychiatric and non-psychiatric non-attempters. Four standardized assessments and one questionnaire designed for this study were administered to 60 adolescents, whose mean age was 15 years. Descriptive analyses, one-way ANOVAs, and Dunnett T3 comparisons were performed to determine significant differences among the groups on the five dependent variables. The question of time between thought and attempts was treated as exploratory data. Results of this study demonstrated that impulsive behavior, cognitively rigid personality trait, impulsive personality trait, and depression are positively associated with adolescent suicide attempters. Impulsive behavior, impulsive personality trait, and depression are the best discriminators while cognitively rigid behavior appears to be the least effective discriminator. The time between thought and attempt was short for the majority of attempters, suggesting an impulsive act. Psycho-educational and treatment programs as well as parent and psychologist training should incorporate these findings to improve adolescent suicide prevention, intervention, and clinical management efforts.
Eliason, Robin Vaughan, "The roles of cognitive rigidity and impulsivity in adolescent suicide attempts." (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8806.