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Key risk factors for teenage suicide identified
Canberra: A new Australian research has found that young people who report suicidal thoughts along with experiencing auditory hallucinations and psychological distresses are at the greatest risk of future suicide attempts.
The study by researchers from QIMR Berghofer and The University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research examined risk factors that prompted 12 to 17-year-olds to transition from thinking about hurting themselves to acting on those thoughts. The research findings have been published in the international journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.
Primary researcher and PhD candidate Emily Hielscher, from QIMR Berghofer’s Child and Youth Mental Health Research Group, said the study gathered psychological, social, and behavioural data from more than 1600 Australian high school students.
“Of those adolescents, 216 reported experiencing suicidal thoughts at the start of the study, and they were interviewed 12 months after that time to see who actually went on to attempt suicide,” Ms Hielscher said.
“Interestingly, we found that adolescents who said they’d been diagnosed with depression and had experienced stressful life events, such as bullying, were not at significantly increased risk of suicide attempts. These findings support other studies that show such factors as depression and impulsivity are not good at predicting who will go on to transition from suicidal thoughts to attempts.”