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|Research into suicide has typically focused on adults. The findings derived from evaluating prepubertal and adolescent suicide |
|will have strong implications on how mental health experts devise preventative programs. The question is how can clinicians best |
|serve these age groups. Choices include inpatient or outpatient treatment or follow-up care. Clinicians differentiate among three|
|distinct groups, which are those who attempt suicide, those with suicidal ideation and those who committed suicide. |
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|These research studies attempted to find commonalities between these three groups and a control group. The mental state, affect|
|and behaviors of both groups were compared. The Shaffer study (Shaffer, was based on a group of 120 subjects under the age|
|of twenty who had committed suicide, and a control group of 147 subjects. The control group was matched in age and ethnicity. They|
|resided in the same geographic area as the suicide victims.|
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|The parent or main caretaker of each suicide victim was questioned about psychiatric conditions and treatment the decedent |
|received prior to his death. Had the deceased expressed a wish to die? Had he devised a plan or experienced suicidalideation? Had|
|he previously attempted suicide? |
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|The autopsy reports were studied to determine content of alcohol or drugs in the system at the time of death. Anassessment of |
|possible indicators such as behavior problems, hyperactivity, depression, expressions of hopelessness and anhedonia. Educators and|
|clinicians were asked for an opinion on the victim's mental state just prior to the suicide. |
|Nock and Kazdin examined affect, cognition and behavioral  factors and evaluated the relationship to ideation, intent and actual |
|attempts. Three factors remained statistically significant both before and after controls for depression were considered. All |
|subjects in the suicidal group scored higher on tests for depressed mood, hopelessness and negative automaticthoughts. Those who|
|reported an actual suicide attempt scored higher on a test for anhedonia than those who reported suicidal ideation alone. |
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|The summary (Shaffer, proposed a need for specific guidelines to be used by clinicians when evaluating anddevising |
|treatment methods for children and adolescents who have attempted suicide or expressed suicidal ideation. The findings are based |
|on previous research studies involving adults and, when possible, children and adolescents. A review of all research and the |
|autopsies of those who successfully committed suicide revealed the diagnostic and treatment methods deemed mostlikely to produce |
|positive results. |
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|Self-reporting by the children can be unproductive due to that age group's inability to understand and...
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