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University of Ottawa

Suicidality in people with depressionSuicidality in people with depression An analysis of genetic and environmental risk factors and the effectiveness of suicide prevention programsSuicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents Centers for Disease Controland Prevention 2007 underscoring the urgent need for advancing knowledge and research regarding the causes and prevention of suicide in young people It is estimated that over 80 of youth referred for suicide attempts and 90 of those who complete suicide have an associated psychiatric disorderthe most common being depression Depressive disorder particularly with cooccurring disruptive behavior or anxiety disorder confers an increased risk to all forms of suicidal behaviors including thoughts plans and attempts Linker et al 2012 Many researchers have identified adolescents to be one of the most atrisk group for suicide ideation and suicidality In a survey of American highschool students nearly 14 reported seriously contemplating suicide and 6 reported having made a suicide attempt Centers for Disease Control 2009 However the majority of youths with mentalhealth problems do not receive services Increased understanding of the underlying processes leading to suicide attempts and death by suicide including its familial nature and association with other disorders is needed to inform prevention and intervention efforts It has been determined thatsuicidal behavior in adolescents has a strong heritable componentand is linked with other genetically mediated disorders including adolescent depression and conduct disorder In addition it has also been dermined that there are environmental factors that are strongly associated with suicide ideation such as poor social skills low cohesion emotional independence levels of depression conicts with parents and a lack of connectedness and subsequent independence from them However despite consistent work demonstrating strong associations between these behaviors little is known about the genetic and environmental mechanisms 1
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