The Interpersonal–Psychological Theory of Suicide in Adolescents: A Preliminary Report of Changes Following Treatment

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Abstract

This study investigated change in suicide risk in the framework of the interpersonal theory of suicide. Fifty-four adolescents completed measures of interpersonal needs, acquired capability, depressive symptoms, and suicide risk at entry and exit from treatment. There was a significant drop following treatment in unmet interpersonal needs but not in acquired capability, consistent with the theory. Both change in the interaction between interpersonal needs and in depressive symptoms contributed unique prediction to change in suicide risk. These findings extend the research in understanding changes in suicide risk and inform treatment by suggesting cognitive targets for intervention.

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