Objectives. The aims of the study were: to assess severity of depressive symptoms and their relation to attempting suicide by young people; to collect information on modes of suicide, circumstances of the suicidal act, motives for suicide, affective states immediately preceding and following the attempt, instrumental function of suicide, and attitudes towards suicide.
Method. Participants in the study were 99 suicide attempters compared to 301 controls. Psychological interview and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, for the assessment of depressive symptomatology severity) were used.
Results. Adolescent suicide attempters scored significantly higher on the BDI than did the controls, which suggests mood disorders in the former. Girls as compared to boys more often attempted suicide at home. The predominating affective state preceding the suicide attempt was emotional arousal (in girls) and depressed mood (in boys). Direct motivation for attempting suicide in a majority of partici-pants involved interpersonal conflicts.
Conclusions. Adolescent suicide attempters are definitely in need for psychological and psychiatric care.