Parenting Behavior and the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide: A Mediated Moderation Analysis with Adolescents

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Multiple features of parenting have been associated with development of suicide-related behaviors in adolescents. However, findings are inconsistent on which aspects of parenting are protective or harmful and why. This investigation sought to reconcile these discrepancies through the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS), which argues that suicide ideation and the capability to attempt suicide are etiologically distinct. Responses of 200 Midwestern public school students to the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behavior survey were analyzed using mediated moderation analysis. Participant sex significantly moderated the relationships between parenting variables and suicide attempts and these relationships were accounted for by IPTS variables. Specifically, the effect of parental support on suicide attempts was twice as strong for girls. Self-esteem mediated this interaction (b=−.011, SEboot=.008, p

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Journal of Affective Disorders