Common problems and coping strategies. II: Findings with adolescent suicide attempters.


This study investigated the most common precipitants of adolescent suicide attempts and the strategies used to cope with such problems. Adolescent suicide attempters were compared with both distressed and nondistressed nonsuicidal adolescents on problems reported and coping strategies utilized. All three groups reported four problems as occurring most frequently: school, parents, friends, or boyfriend/girlfriend. The suicide attempters and distressed controls reported problems with parents more frequently than did nondistressed controls, while this latter group reported problems at school more frequently than did suicide attempters or distressed controls. Suicide attempters used social withdrawal, problem solving, and emotional regulation more than did nondistressed controls, but not more frequently than distressed controls. Distressed controls used wishful thinking and resignation more than did suicide atempters. Results are discussed in terms of the similarities between suicide attempters and nonsuicidal distressed adolescents and the need to more closely investigate specific subgroups of suicide attempters.

Cite this paper

@article{Spirito1989CommonPA, title={Common problems and coping strategies. II: Findings with adolescent suicide attempters.}, author={Anthony Spirito and James Overholser and Lori J. Stark}, journal={Journal of abnormal child psychology}, year={1989}, volume={17 2}, pages={213-21} }