Self complexity of suicidal adolescents

Anat Brunstein-Klomek, Israel Orbach, Sorin Meged, Gil Zalsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the positive and negative self-complexity of suicidal adolescents. Methods: Thirty-two Israeli suicidal inpatients, thirty-two nonsuicidal inpatients and thirty-two control participants completed scales on self-complexity and suicidal tendencies. Self-complexity was based on Linville's measure and revealed four different aspects of self-complexity: number of positive/negative traits, number of positive/negative/neutral self-aspects, amount of redundancy of the positive/negative traits and subjective similarity between each two self-aspects. Results: In comparison with both psychiatric and control, the suicidal self was characterized by the highest number of negative traits and negative self-aspects. In comparison with control, the suicidal self was characterized by the highest number of positive categories and the lowest number of neutral categories and redundancy in the positive traits. No significant differences were found between the suicidal and the psychiatric in the number of positive and neutral self-aspects and in the level of redundancy of the positive traits. After Bonferroni post-hoc correction for multiple testing, the effects for the number of negative traits (F=28.53; p<.001), the number of negative self-aspects (F=15.59; p<.001) and the number of neutral self-aspects (F=28.14; p<.001) were still significant. Conclusions: The suicidal self is characterized by flooding of the negative aspects and a high differentiation of the positive ones. The suicidal self should be taken into consideration in both assessment and treatment of adolescents suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Adolescents
  • Israel
  • Object relations
  • Self
  • Self-complexity
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempts


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