Clinical and Socio-Demographic Correlates of Suicidal Intent Among Young Adults: A Study From South India

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Abstract

Background: Intent in attempted suicide is considered an indicator of subsequent suicide. Few studies in developing countries have examined correlates of suicidal intent among young adults. Aims: This study aimed to assess the intent score among a sample of young suicide attempters from South India and to identify the factors associated with suicide intent among them. Method: The clinical charts of 64 consecutive subjects aged 15–24 years attending emergency services for attempted suicide were reviewed. All participants completed a semistructured proforma, the Presumptive Stressful Life Events Scale, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Pierce Suicide Intent Scale, and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Psychiatric diagnoses were made according to the ICD-10 clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Results: The intent scores were in the moderate-to-high range for most subjects. Suicide intent score significantly varied depending on the presence or absence of psychiatric morbidity. In bivariate analysis, psychiatric morbidity and hopelessness correlated positively with suicide intent, and in linear regression, hopelessness emerged as a predictor of suicide intent. Conclusion: A high intent of suicide in young is associated with psychiatric morbidity and presence of hopelessness. Hopelessness may be a key predictor of suicidal intent. Assessment of suicidal intent and hopelessness among young attempters is important and may help identify high-risk individuals who need intensive interventions.

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