Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family Ties Provide Protection Against Young Adult Suicidal Behavior

Date:
April 15, 2009
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Adolescents and young adults typically consider peer relationships to be all important. However, it appears that strong family support, not peer support, is protective in reducing future suicidal behavior among young adults when they have experienced depression or have attempted suicide.

Adolescents and young adults typically consider peer relationships to be all important. However, it appears that strong family support, not peer support, is protective in reducing future suicidal behavior among young adults when they have experienced depression or have attempted suicide.

New research that will be presented here April 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Suicidology shows that high school depression and a previous suicide attempt were significant predictors of thinking about suicide one or two years later. But, those individuals who had high levels of depression or had attempted suicide in high school were less likely to engage in suicidal thinking if they had strong family support and bonds. In addition, having a current romantic partner also reduced suicidal thoughts.

"Our findings suggest that the protective quality of family support and bonding, or having an intimate partner, are not replaced by peer support and bonding in emerging adulthood. In fact, it appears that older adolescents – 18- and 19-year olds – who maintain strong family ties are less likely to engage in suicidal thinking, regardless of their peer relationships," said James Mazza, a University of Washington professor of educational psychology and the lead researcher on two posters about the research being presented at the meeting.

By bonding, the researchers are referring to a person's closeness with his or her family, or a partner, enjoying spending time with them, and the ability to talk with them about important issues.

"Peers don't provide the same type of safety net that comes from a family or by having an intimate partner. When it comes to suicidal behavior, young adults may feel that their family or partner may be more accepting and less judgmental than perhaps some of their peers," said Mazza, who is past president of the American Association of Suicidology.

"This study suggests getting the family involved in adolescent treatment for depression or past suicidal behavior may be very important. It's also important that parents shouldn't give up on their adolescents because our work indicates they still rely on them in this kind of situation."

Data for the research was drawn from a larger National Institute of Drug Abuse 15-year study of youth in a Seattle-area school district that looked at risk factors for marijuana and cigarette use, binge drinking, depression and past suicidal behavior.

Mazza and his colleagues also will present data from a second study that shows 18- and 19-year olds are accurate in reporting their previous childhood suicide attempts. Using the same group of students, data showed that 67 of them reported attempting suicide while in high school. The researchers found that the students' scores for depression were elevated in the same year they made their first suicide attempt.

Collecting information about suicidal behavior in minors is difficult because of liability issues, and Mazza said "depression scores are a pretty decent proxy for suicide. But we should be asking directly about suicidal behavior, not looking for a proxy or a substitute."

Co-authors of the research are Charles Fleming and Richard Catalano of the UW's Social Development Research Group, a part of the School of Social Work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Family Ties Provide Protection Against Young Adult Suicidal Behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413150741.htm>.
University of Washington. (2009, April 15). Family Ties Provide Protection Against Young Adult Suicidal Behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413150741.htm
University of Washington. "Family Ties Provide Protection Against Young Adult Suicidal Behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413150741.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins