Victimization exposure and suicidal ideation among Spaniard adolescents evaluated at outpatient mental health services.


Suicidal ideation among adolescents has been associated with victimization in various studies; however, the nature of this association is not clear. Our aim was to examine the influence of victimization exposure on suicidal ideation in a clinical sample of adolescents. Eleven to 17-year-old subjects were recruited from Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatric Services. They completed the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview, the Stressful Life Events Scale, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, the Children’s Depression Inventory, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Family APGAR. Demographic data, developmental features, medical and psychiatric history, family history, and treatment histories were also evaluated. A backward stepwise logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the influence of victimization exposure on suicidal ideation controlling for potential confounding variables. Two hundred and thirty-nine adolescents (62.3% male; mean age 14.31 years, SD=1.9) took part in this investigation. Of these, 20.9% reported victimization exposure. Adolescents who experienced peer victimization and/or were victims of a crime were significantly more likely to report suicidal ideation (chi2=10.05, df=1, p=0.002). However, suicidal ideation was only predicted by emotional and behavioral problems (chi2=4.79, df=1, p=0.029), depressive sympthomatology (chi2=3.17, df=1, p=0.075), and number of total stressful life events (chi2=4.02, df=1, p=0.045). Behavioral and emotional problems, as well as the accumulation of stressful life events may have a direct relation to suicidal ideation among adolescents evaluated at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Outpatient Services. Future studies might consider a comprehensive assessment of victimization and the cumulative effects of exposure to multiple stressful life events. Longitudinal designs are warranted.