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26-08-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2021

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2021

Suicidality in 12-Year-Olds: The Interaction Between Social Connectedness and Mental Health

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2021
Auteurs:
Gabrielle Simcock, Thu Andersen, Larisa T. McLoughlin, Denise Beaudequin, Marcella Parker, Amanda Clacy, Jim Lagopoulos, Daniel F. Hermens
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Abstract

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB) are a leading cause of death in adolescence. To date, most research with youth has focused on risk factors for suicide; and less attention has been paid to resilience factors. This study examined whether positive beliefs and social connectedness moderate associations between mental health symptoms and STB. A community sample of 12-year-olds (N = 60) completed self-report questionnaires on their STB, mental health symptoms, positive beliefs and social connectedness. Nearly 20% of the adolescents reported STB. STB was associated with increased mental health symptoms and lower scores on the resilience measures. A significant moderating effect of social connectedness showed that youth with a combination of poor mental health and high levels of social support exhibited lower levels of STB. There was no significant moderating effect of positive beliefs. These results indicate that social support should be screened for in primary care and incorporated into youth suicide prevention programs.

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