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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


SANCHEZ PEDRAZA, Ricardo; GUZMAN, Yahira  e  CACERES RUBIO, Heidy. Study of Imitation as a Risk Factor for Suicidal Ideation in University Adolescent Students. . rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2005, vol.34, n.1, pp.12-25. ISSN 0034-7450.

The objective of this study was to evaluate imitation as an associated factor in suicidal behavior in adolescent university students. Multi-step, stratified sampling has been used. A stratified sample of 197 students was selected as representative of the university population where the investigation has been conducted. Data was obtained using psychiatric interviews in order to evaluate the presence and risk factors of suicidal behavior, including imitation. To evaluate patterns of association between variables, and its relationship with imitation, Multiple Correspondence Analysis has been used. A total of 56 students having information about someone committing suicide, mainly friends, were found (28.4%, IC95%: 22.2% - 35.3%). Exposure to this type of information has been called risk of imitation. Belonging to social groups, mainly sport groups, having psychiatric diagnostic of the depressive spectrum, access to lethal methods and a story of childhood physical abuse were associated with risk of imitation. Adolescents with social isolation, anxiety disorders and use of psychoactive substances has imitation risk if a friend has committed suicide. This study suggests that imitation plays an important role as risk factor in some groups of adolescents, principally when psychiatric disorders coexist. Targeting such characteristics is a recommended component of youth suicide prevention efforts and raises the importance of handling information in mental health promotion.

Palavras-chave : imitative behavior; risk factors; suicide; adolescent.

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