Suicidal behavior and related traits among inpatient adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia

Gal Shoval, Joy Feld-Olspanger, Eitan Nahshoni, Doron Gothelf, Sagit Misgav, Iris Manor, Alan Apter, Gil Zalsman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Suicide is a major cause of death in adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia (FES). The aim of this pilot study was to compare suicide-related traits between subjects with FES and those with other psychopathologies to evaluate risk factors for suicidal behavior. Method: Twenty-five inpatient adolescents with FES and a control group of 28 psychiatric inpatients matched for sex and age were assessed for depression, anger, criminal behavior, aggression, and suicidal ideation, risk, and potential. Results: The adolescents with FES had significantly lower depression (P =.003), anger (P =.025), and criminal behavior (P =.022) than did the controls. However, although suicide ideation was greater in the subjects with FES (P =.003), suicide risk was significantly lower than that in controls (P =.004). Conclusion: Decreased levels of both depression and anger as part of affective constriction in the group with schizophrenia could explain why the increased suicide ideation did not lead to a higher suicide risk in these inpatients. This study highlights the importance of distinguishing between suicidal ideation and actual suicide risk. We demonstrated that thoughts of suicide do not necessarily translate into an actual risk of suicidal behavior in adolescents with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-599
Number of pages4
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


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