Helen Reinherz, Sc.D.

Helen Reinherz, Sc.D., Simmons College

Pilot Research Grant (2008): $20,000

Factors Promoting Good Adult Functioning in Adolescents with Suicidal Ideation: A Pilot Study

Abstract: In this study the investigator will examine a unique 8-wave data set collected over 30 years from a cohort of almost 400 youth and their families, drawn from a primarily Caucasian working-class community in the northeastern United States. The original study began in 1977 when the cohort was five years of age, and included additional assessments of psychosocial functioning, including suicidal ideation and behavior, at ages 6, 9, 15, 18, 21, 26 and 30 (2002). The present study will focus specifically on individuals who expressed suicidal thoughts at age 15 and who have achieved good levels of functioning at age 30. The investigator will analyze this subgroup’s data at ages 18, 21 and 26 to identify factors that appeared to reduce suicidal ideation and promote good functioning as the members progressed through late adolescence and early adulthood. It is anticipated that the pilot study findings will lead to the identification of modifiable protective factors that can be incorporated into interventions targeting youth who express suicidal ideation in mid-adolescence.