Psychosocial Factors Correlated with Undisclosed Suicide Attempts to Significant Others: Findings from the Adolescence SEYLE Study

Yossi Levi-Belz, Timor Gavish-Marom, Shira Barzilay, Alan Apter, Vladimir Carli, Cristina Hoven, Mario Sarchiapone, Dnuta Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Suicide attempt (SA) is recognized as one of the risk factors for completed suicides. The concealment of this behavior often hinders detection and management of suicide risk. Thus, in this study, we sought to shed light on adolescents’ psychosocial processes that could facilitate disclosure of SAs. Specifically, we sought to identify antecedents of adolescent SAs that had not been revealed to significant others. Method: A high school sample) N = 990 (completed a self-report questionnaire tapping psychiatric, personal, and interpersonal characteristics, as well as suicidality, as part of the SEYLE project. Twenty-seven adolescents acknowledged having made an SA without disclosing it to parents or to other significant others. They were compared with 47 adolescents who made SAs that were communicated to others and with a control group of 916 adolescents having no history of suicidal behavior. Results: Compared with disclosures and controls, non-disclosing suicide attempters were characterized by higher levels of suicide ideation, distress, and victimization. Low levels of self-disclosure and parental support were significantly associated with undisclosed SAs. Conclusions: Interpersonal difficulties may be related to loneliness and a thwarted sense of belongingness, which may explain the failure to disclose SAs. Implications related to assessment and prevention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-773
Number of pages15
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The American Association of Suicidology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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