Brown University2014-11-10 11:48 AM

Perceived Family and Peer Invalidation as Predictors of Adolescent Suicidal Behaviors and Self-Mutilation


Objective: The present study investigates the longitudinal relationship between perceived family and peer invalidation and adolescent suicidal events (SE) and self-mutilation (SM) in a 6 month follow-up (f/u) study of adolescents admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit for suicide risk.

Methods: Adolescents (n=119) and their parent(s) were administered interviews and self-report assessments at baseline and at a 6 month f/u, with 99 (83%) completing both assessments. The Adolescent Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation (A-LIFE) was modified to provide weekly ratings (baseline and each week of f/u) for perceived family and peer invalidation. Regression analyses examined whether: 1) Prospectively rated perceived family and peer invalidation at baseline predicted SE and SM during f/u; and 2) chronicity of perceived invalidation operationalized as proportion of weeks at moderate to high invalidation during f/u was associated with SE and SM during f/u.


Results: Multiple regression analyses, controlling for previously identified covariates, revealed that perceived family invalidation predicted SE over f/u for boys only and perceived peer invalidation predicted SM over f/u in the overall sample. This was the case for both baseline and f/u ratings of perceived invalidation.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the adverse impact of perceived family and peer invalidation. Specifically, boys who experienced high perceived family invalidation were more likely to have an SE over f/u. Both boys and girls who experienced high perceived peer invalidation were more likely to engage in SM over f/u.

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