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The relationship between profiles and transitions of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and suicidal thoughts in early adolescence

TitleThe relationship between profiles and transitions of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and suicidal thoughts in early adolescence
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsJohnson, D., McLennan J. D., Heron J., and Colman I.
JournalPsychological Medicine
VolumeePub ahead of Print
Keywordsadolescence, childhood, externalizing, internalizing, suicidal thought
Abstract

Background: Adolescence is a high-risk period for the onset of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Identification of preceding patterns of internalizing and externalizing symptoms that are associated with subsequent suicidal thoughts may offer a better understanding of how to prevent adolescent suicide. Methods: Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, a prospective population-based Canadian cohort, contained Child Behavior Checklist items which were used to examine profiles and transitions of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children, aged 6-11 years (n = 8266). The association between these profiles/transitions and suicidal thoughts in adolescents was examined using multivariate logistic regression modeling. Results: Latent profile analyses identified four measurement invariant profiles of internalizing and externalizing symptoms at ages 6/7 and 10/11: (1) low on all symptoms, (2) moderate on all symptoms, (3) high on all symptoms, and (4) high on hyperactivity/inattention and internalizing. Recurrent (homotypic or heterotypic) and increasing symptoms from 6/7 to 10/11 were associated with suicidal thoughts in adolescence, compared to those with stable low symptoms. Those with decreasing symptoms from 6/7 to 10/11 were not at increased risk of suicidal thought in adolescence. Conclusions: While patterns of recurrent symptoms were associated with suicidal thoughts, a similar association was observed between profiles at age 10/11 years and suicidal thoughts. This suggests that the recent assessments of mental health symptoms in children may be as sufficient a predictor of adolescent suicidal thought as transition profiles.

URLhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31576782
DOI10.1017/S0033291719002733
Document URLhttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/relationship-between-profiles-and-transitions-of-internalizing-and-externalizing-symptoms-in-children-and-suicidal-thoughts-in-early-adolescence/AB08A308C8270E267A0CF9AB49357A3F