Background: Suicide is the second leading causes of death among 15- to 19-years old.The onset of adverse life events represent important proximal risk factors for suicidal beahviors.The objectives of this study are to determine the patterns.
Methods and Findings: This study used a case-control design in which a sample of 136 adolescents who had attempted suicide was contrasted with 658 community controls. The measures included sociodemographic factors; the Adolescent Life Change Event Scale (ALCES), which is a self-administered questionnaire that explores the onset of stressful life events; and the State Worry Questionnaire (SWQ), which measures the level of worries across five distinct domains.
According to the results of multiple logistic regressions, adolescents who had attempted suicide reported elevated rates of both stressful life events and worries. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that adolescents who had attempted suicide were more likely to have experienced three categories of life events were more specifically associated with suicidal attempt: (1) stressful life events related to one’s family characteristics (parental divorce/separation); (2) the disruption of an affective relationship (e.g., a romantic break-up or the death of a close friend); or (3) legal or disciplinary problems (e.g., school disciplinary problems or expulsion). These life events were associated with a definite increase in the total SWQ score, specifically on the SWQ “aimless future” subscale.
Conclusions: This data indirectly confirms that a surge in adolescents’s level of worry is one of the mechanism by which a stressful life event could precipitate suicidal behaviors. However, particular attention should be paid to the assessment of suicidality in context of disruptive disorders in adolescents, as the social consequences of these symptoms represent an important risk for suicidal behaviors, and moreover, irrespective of the level of worry.