Medicinski pregled 2005 Volume 58, Issue 5-6, Pages: 240-244
doi:10.2298/MPNS0506240I
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Family dysfunction in adolescents with suicidal behavior and in adolescents with conduct disorders

Ivanović-Kovačević Svetlana, Dickov Aleksandra, Mišić-Pavkov Gordana

Introduction. The period of life known as adolescence generally refers to transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescents' progress toward autonomy involves remaining connected with, as well as separated from parents. Young people and their parents usually have mixed feelings about adolescent autonomy and attachment. An estimated 50% of children born in the 80s have spent part of their developmental years in single-parent households. Divorce is almost always a stressful event in children's lives. Youthful suicide rate has increased dramatically and is the third leading cause of death among 15-19 year olds. Conduct disorder is one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions in adolescents. Suicidal adolescents and adolescents with conduct disorder are much more likely than their peers to have grown up in disrupted, disorganized homes with lack of attachment between parents and their children. Material and methods This prospective study was carried out during 2002, 2003, and 2004. The research included 60 adolescents treated at the Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Novi Sad, 30 with diagnosed conduct disorder and 30 with suicidal behavior. Results Along with other kinds of distress, suicidal adolescents have experienced an escalation of family problems a few months prior to attempted suicide. Discussion Divorce and life in single-parent households is almost always a stressful period in children's lives. Conduct disorder and suicidal behavior represent a desperate cry for help. Conclusion Most adolescents in both groups live in single-parent house­holds. These young people have frequently passed into adolescence with little reason to feel that they could rely on their parents for support, or on their home as a place of sanctuary. .

Keywords: family + psychology, suicide, attempted, adolescent behavior, suicide, child behavior disorders

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