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Cognitive Aspects of Adolescent Suicide

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified November 2001 by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).
Recruitment status was  Active, not recruiting
Information provided by:
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Identifier:
First received: April 22, 2000
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: November 2001
The purpose of this project is to pilot a new scale, The Desperation Scale, in a sample of young adolescents (aged 10-16) seen in the pediatric emergency room who require a psychiatric consultation. The proposed study is designed to assess the psychometric properties of this new scale and to provide information about the cognitive state of young suicidal individuals. It is hypothesized that this scale will be able to discriminate between those who are suicidal and those who are not. Data obtained in this pilot study will provide information about the usefulness of the construct of desperation and will guide future projects aimed at the assessment and treatment of suicidal individuals. The use of cognitive factors to predict suicidal behavior is appealing because they allow the clinician to tap into an individual's perception of his/her life circumstances. However, we believe the popular conceptualization of suicide as a result of "hopeless" thinking ignores an important aspect of suicidal behavior-the motivation to escape. We propose that a model of suicidal behavior that includes escape motivation, which we call the desperation model, will be better able to predict suicide than existing measures. We conceptualize desperation as consisting of three core elements: a sense of entrapment, feelings of anxiety/agitation, and a sense of time urgency. The current pilot study will test a 35-item scale that assesses these three elements of desperation. A pilot study of the Desperation Scale is currently being conducted at the Cornell University Medical Center (P.I. P.M. Marzuk) with depressed, adult inpatients. Our study is original in its use of the scale with an adolescent population and its focus on patients in the emergency room, when they are presumably in a "purer" suicidal state. It is hypothesized that those who are admitted to the emergency room for recent suicidal behavior will endorse feelings of entrapment, anxiety, and time urgency.

Condition Intervention
Suicide, Attempted
Behavioral: Desperation Scale

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Diagnostic

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR):


Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years to 16 Years   (Child)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • young adolescents seen in the pediatric emergency room at Yale-New Haven Hospital who require psychiatric consultation and who give consent to participate

Exclusion Criteria:

  • diagnosis of a psychotic or organic brain disorder or inability to read the study questionnaire due to low IQ, learning disability, or non-English speaking status
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00005566

United States, Connecticut
Department of Psychology, Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06520
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
  More Information Identifier: NCT00005566     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NCRR-M01RR06022-0021  M01RR006022 
Study First Received: April 22, 2000
Last Updated: June 23, 2005
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR):

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Suicide, Attempted
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on October 20, 2016