Salud Mental

Family dysfunction and suicidality in adolescents with major depressive disorder


María Teresa Laurencia Perales Blum
Lídice Loredo


Background. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death in youth population; family conflicts have been considered as an independent possible risk factor for suicidality among this population.

Objective. To assess the relationship between family problems and suicidality in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Method. Patients between the ages of 10 and 18 years with a MDD diagnostic were included. To assess family problems, the scale Instrument for Family Problems (IPF) was applied; to determine the degree of suicidality, the Okasha Suicidality Scale was used. The values of these scales were compared through a logistic regression. Odds ratios (OR) were obtained to find differences between the groups with a confidence interval (CI) of 95%.

Results. Out of the 37 patients that were examined, 21 (56.7%) had high suicidality risk. They were older in age and had a higher depression severity index. No association was found between the values obtained in the IPF and suicidality, except for the item “disagreements between the father and the mother regarding permissions”, with an OR: 5.28, 95% CI (1.06-26.3).

Discussion and conclusion. The association found between high suicidality and the IPF-D item might be related to the use of a severity depression index as a cofactor. Family conflicts assessed through the IPF do not seem to be an independent factor explaining differences between the studied groups.

Suicide, adolescents, family, depression


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