Positive relations between youth and their parents can be key to preventing adolescent suicide attempts, according to the University of British Columbia (UBC) research.
Suicide is the third-leading cause of adolescent death worldwide, and is responsible for a quarter of all adolescent deaths in Canada. The research examines the link between parental bonding — a term describing the quality of a parent-child relationship — and a history of suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Numerous studies suggest that positive parental relationships reduce adolescents’ risk of experiencing depression, loneliness and suicide. “However, it has been unclear whether positive adolescent-parent relations protect against suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or both,” says Boaz Saffer, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in clinical psychology at UBC. “This is a crucial distinction, given that most people who think about suicide do not act on their thoughts.”