153161 Association of alcohol and suicide attempts for adolescent ideators and non-ideators

Monday, November 5, 2007

Elizabeth A. Schilling, PhD , Institute for Public Health Research, University of Connecticut Health Center, East Hartford, CT
Robert H. Aseltine, PhD , Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Jaime L. Glanovsky , Institute for Public Health Research, University of Connecticut Health Center, East Hartford, CT
Alcohol use, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation are all risk factors for suicide attempts. The current study investigates whether drinking alcohol is a risk factor for self-reported suicide attempts in adolescents who report suicidal ideation and in those who don't. Students (n=33,889) from 225 schools across the United States were screened for depression with the Columbia Depression Scale (CDS), a self-report checklist of depressive symptoms that occurred in the past year. The CDS includes questions about suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. In addition, students were asked two questions about alcohol use in the past year: binge drinking and drinking while feeling down. Whereas most suicide attempters (n=1647) reported suicidal ideation, 7.6% of attempters reported attempting suicide without reporting ideation in the past year. Results from logistic regression analyses revealed that drinking alcohol while down and binge drinking increased risk for suicide attempts after controlling for demographics, ideation, and depressive symptoms. In addition, the effect on suicide attempts of drinking alcohol while down, but not binge drinking, varied significantly depending on ideator status, with drinking while down increasing attempt risk more for non-ideators than for ideators.

Learning Objectives:
1) Recognize that a notable proportion of adolescent suicide attempters do not report suicidal ideation. 2) Recognize that alcohol increases risk of attempts in adolescents who ideate and in those who donít 3) Recognize that drinking alcohol while down increases the risk of suicide attempts more for non-ideators than ideators.

Keywords: Alcohol, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.