Does Asking Adolescents About Suicidal Ideation Induce Negative Mood State?


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Abstract

Two studies examined the potential for negative mood induction through participating in suicidal ideation questionnaire research. Items immediately preceding mood state measures were hypothesized to influence mood state in a negative or positive direction, depending on their emotional content. Study 1 involved 129 adolescents. Mood state decreased nonsignifi cantly following items on suicidal-type ideation and significantly improved following a series of positive affect items. Study 2 followed up 71 of the original participants 3 years later using a briefer version of the original questionnaire. Here no significant differences in mood state were found at any measurement point. In both studies, the salience of items preceding the mood measure explained a significant proportion of variance in mood state. We concluded that negative mood induction effects were minimal. Ethical implications are discussed.

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