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Teenage Suicide Ideation Ups Risk for Problems at Age 30

Identification and treatment of adolescent suicidal ideation warranted

THURSDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Suicidal ideation in adolescence can be a marker of severe distress and is associated with a greater risk of compromised functioning in later adulthood, according to a study in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Helen Z. Reinherz, Sc.D., of the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, and colleagues followed 346 individuals, 98 percent of whom were white, to determine if suicidal ideation at age 15 represents adolescent angst or is predictive of psychopathology and problem behaviors later in life.

By age 30, participants with adolescent suicidal ideation were twice as likely to meet the criteria for an axis I disorder, nearly 12 times more likely to have attempted suicide between ages 15 to 30, and 15 times more likely to have thought about suicide between the ages of 26 to 30 than subjects without ideation. Men with suicidal ideation made less money at age 30, were less likely to be living independently and had lower socioeconomic status than their counterparts without suicidal ideation.

"These findings underscore the need for identification and treatment of adolescent suicidal ideation in order to alleviate immediate distress and forestall future negative consequences," the authors conclude.

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