Suicidal Ideation

The aim of the study was to collect data on suicidal ideation; and suicidal risk prevalence in a three-phase epidemiological study. However, in the first phase, 1,514 participants (720 boys; mean-age = 10.2) filled out; the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and other psychopathological tests.

562 individuals (mean-age = 11.3) are select to participate in the second phase; as at-risk individuals of emotional disorders or as controls, and the CDI and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children; and Adolescents (M.I.N.I.-Kid) were administered. In the third phase the participants (245; mean-age = 13.5) filled out the Youth’s Inventory-4.

How suicidal ideation developed

However, the researchers studied a group of 720 boys and 794 girls who attend 13 schools in Reus. They are monitor during three developmental periods: 10 years old, 11 years old and 13 years old. But at the beginning of the study, the students answered a series of psychological tests; are used to detect which of them present emotional symptoms related to depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

From their responses, two groups are create: one group at risk of emotional problems and a control group. However, the disorders were diagnose with standardize international criteria; and the boys and girls were monitor to see how suicidal ideation developed throughout the research period.

The figures were quite stable. During the first period, 16% of the students stated that they had thought about suicide; of whom 33% stated the same one year later. But in both the second and the third period; ideas of suicide, expressed by 18% of the students surveyed.

Previous depressive symptoms

However, the risk of suicide, determine in a personal interview; and was present in 12.2% of the children with an average age of 11 years old. Although there were no differences between the sexes; the severity of the suicidal behaviour was greater in boys. The researchers also observed what factors predict suicidal ideation; and they found here that there differences between the sexes.

“In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation,” says Núria Voltas, one of the researchers involved in the study. In girls, on the other hand; it is a combination of anxiety symptoms, OCD and the family’s socioeconomic situation.

But the results of this research, publish in the scientific journal Archives of Suicide Studies; reveal the factors that can trigger ideas of suicide in this age group. “Our results will enable us to have greater control; over this particular aspect and take prevention measures in preadolescents; who are going through a period of considerable vulnerability,” she concludes.