Body attitudes and body experiences in suicidal adolescents

Israel Orbach, Daniel Stein, Mirit Shani-Sela, Dov Har-Even

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The relationships between cognitive and affective attitudes toward the body, body experiences (dissociation, insensitivity, and lack of control), and suicidal tendencies were examined as a derivative of the hypothesis that bodily attitudes and experiences may facilitate suicidal acting out. Three groups of adolescents (aged 14-18), including suicidal (made a suicide attempt) and nonsuicidal inpatients and controls, were compared with regard to suicidal tendencies, various body aspects, and depression and anxiety. A series of MANOVAs, discriminant analysis, Pearson correlations, and regressions were employed. The results show that the suicidal group differed from the two nonsuicidal groups in feelings toward the body, body protection, and body dissociation. Some aspects of bodily measures discriminated between suicidal and nonsuicidal subjects. In addition, various bodily measures were associated with and statistically predicted suicidal tendencies. The discussion focuses on the web of associations between body attitudes and experiences and their role in suicidal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


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