Risk factors for suicidality in clinical populations of adolescents

PhD Thesis

Holden, R. 2018. Risk factors for suicidality in clinical populations of adolescents. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsHolden, R.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

This study investigated the impact of bullying on suicidality in a clinical population of adolescents with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs). Evidence suggests that adolescents that experience bullying are at increased risk of developing suicidality. Adolescents with ASCs are at increased risk of developing suicidality and are at increased risk of being bullied. However, the relationship between bullying and suicidality in adolescents with ASCs has not been investigated.

Electronic health records (EHRs) of adolescents (13-17 yrs) with a diagnosis of ASC using the services of a South London mental health trust were analysed. Natural language processing (NLP) was employed to identify mentions of suicidality and bullying in the free text fields of adolescents’ clinical records. Cox regression analysis was employed to investigate the longitudinal relationship between bullying and suicidality.

Bullying at baseline was associated with suicidality over the follow-up period. In addition, female gender, psychosis or affective disorder diagnosis and absence of intellectual disorder diagnosis were associated with suicidality at follow-up. After controlling for functional assessment score bullying did not predict suicidality.

Bullying seems to predict future suicidality in adolescents with ASCs. That bullying did not predict suicidality after controlling for functional assessment score may have been due to the impact of lost power or overfitting. The results of this study suggest that mental health clinicians and educators should take reports of bullying seriously.

KeywordsSuicide; bullying; autism
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Publication process dates
Deposited25 Sep 2018
AcceptedApr 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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