Venta, A, Hatkevich, C, Sharp, C and Rotenberg, KJ (2017) Low Emotional Trust in Mothers Is Associated With Increased Suicide Attempts in Inpatient Adolescents With Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36 (3). 221 -237. ISSN 0736-7236

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Emotional trust is conceptualized as an individual's belief that others are not critical of personal disclosures and will maintain their confidentiality. Accordingly, adolescents who hold high emotional trust in their parents are inclined to disclose troubling thoughts (e.g., those related to depression or suicide), and in turn receive emotional support as well as practical assistance in managing these thoughts, thereby mitigating the risk of suicide attempts. To date, emotional trust has not been examined in the context of depression and suicide attempts; the broad aim of the present study was to examine this relationship. Three hundred and twenty-one adolescents were administered measures of emotional trust in mothers, depressive symptoms, and suicide attempts. Negative Binomial regression analyses indicated that adolescents’ emotional trust in mothers moderated the relation between depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. When emotional trust in mothers was low or medium, depressive symptoms were positively associated with suicide attempts, but, when emotional trust in mothers was high, there was not a significant relation between depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. Conversely adolescents experiencing elevated depressive symptoms who had low emotional trust in mothers reported the highest number of suicide attempts, presumably because their low trust has precluded self-disclosure and, thus, suicidal and depressive thoughts could not be resolved by maternal discussion and support. Results suggest that interventions promoting adolescents’ emotional trust in their mothers may be effective in reducing the risk of suicide attempts for adolescents with psychiatric disorders, particularly depression.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Guilford Press at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression, suicide, trust, mother, adolescent
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 09:52
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2019 16:11

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