State and trait anxiety in adolescent suicide attempters

Richard Ohring, Alan Apter, Gideon Ratzoni, Ronit Weizman, Sam Tyano, Robert Plutchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between anxiety and suicidal behavior in adolescents. Method: Forty-six adolescents who had been hospitalized in an inpatient psychiatric unit after a suicide attempt were compared on measures of anxiety and depression with 72 adolescent psychiatric inpatients who had no history of suicide attempts. Results: The suicide attempters exhibited significantly higher levels of both state and trait anxiety. However, when controlling for depression, the attempters did not differ in their level of state anxiety from the nonattempters, but they still manifested significantly higher levels of trait anxiety than nonattempters. Conclusions: The results suggest that anxiety, both state and trait, is a risk factor for suicidal behavior in adolescents. Yet, only trait anxiety appears to be relatively independent of depression in its effect on suicidal behavior risk. These findings imply that clinicians should take into account anxiety, both state and trait, for assessment and treatment of adolescents at risk for suicidal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-157
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • state anxiety
  • suicide attempt
  • trait anxiety


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