Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-46

Psychosocial stressors and patterns of coping in adolescent suicide attempters


Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Anju Mathew
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.112200

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Context: Different risk factors associated with adolescent suicide attempts have been identified including those of socio-demographic and clinical variables. Relatively, little research has been done in the area of their stressors and coping patterns. Aims: To study the recent psychosocial stressors and patterns of coping associated with adolescent suicide attempts. Settings and Design: Tertiary care hospital, case-control study. Materials and Methods: One hundred consecutive cases of adolescent attempted suicide admitted to the hospital and an equal number of controls, matched individually for age and sex, from the relatives and friends of other patients in the ward, were studied. Assessment included details regarding socio-demographic data, psychiatric and physical morbidity, their recent stressors, and patterns of coping. Stressors were assessed using Presumptive Stressful Life Event Scale and coping strategies by Ways of Coping Questionnaire (revised). Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: The number of stressful life events and mean stress scores in the preceding 1 month and certain coping strategies such as confronting, distancing, and escape-avoidance were found to be significant risk factors associated with adolescent suicide attempts. Strategies such as self-control, seeking social support, accepting responsibilities, problem solving, and positive appraisal act as protective factors. Conclusions: Recent stressors and strategies such as confronting, distancing, and escape-avoidance are significant risk factors associated with adolescent suicide attempts, whereas certain coping strategies act as protective factors. Teaching adolescents these protective coping patterns may be a promising strategy for prevention of adolescent suicide attempts.


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