Comportamenti suicidari negli adolescenti.

Translated title of the contribution: Suicidal behavior among adolescents

L. Saccomani, A. Matricardi, M. Savoini, M. Cirrincione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some data from the literature on adolescent suicidal behaviour are reported: incidence, employed methods, warning signs, risk factors, some psychodynamic aspects. The purpose of this work is to contribute to the study on this matter by a research on 33 adolescents (12 males, 21 females: mean age 14 years, range 11.2-17 years) examined because of suicidal behaviour. The study method includes: anamnesis, psychodiagnostic inquiry, family and environmental investigation, psychiatric evaluation. Suicidal behaviour is characterized by low levels of determined self-elimination intent ("suicidal gestures") in 36% of cases (1 male, 11 females). Relapses are found in 35% of cases, with death in 1 case. The most frequently used methods is drug poisoning (65%). Most common place where suicidal behaviour takes place is at home (82%). Most show warning signs especially verbal threats. Some problem in the family situation (conflicts in the parental couple or between parents and children, psychopathologic disturbances in the parents) and frequent difficulties in school and social adjustment are evident. In 45% a depressed state was noted, in the other cases several psychopathologic disturbances have been found: hysteric neurosis, borderline personality, psychosis. In 30% of cases symptoms coexist with a self-injuring meanings (nervous anorexia, pseudo-epileptic seizures). Prevalent psychodynamic characteristics are: vulnerability in facing frustrating situations and research of support from inadequate parental figures: displacement from hetero-direct aggressive drives to an expiratory or revengeful self wounding behaviour. Some criteria for an emergency care and for a middle to long term treatment are mentioned, and the opportunity for collaboration between pediatricians and psychotherapists is suggested.

Translated title of the contributionSuicidal behavior among adolescents
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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