Medicina (Kaunas) 2008; 44 (2): 147-155
Psychological factors of delinquent adolescent girls and suicide attempters
Virginija Ribakovienė, Virginija Adomaitienė1, Diana Danytė, Rūta Kalkytė1
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Policy, Mykolas Romeris University, 1Department of Psychiatry, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
Key words: adolescents; suicide attempt; delinquency.
Summary. The aim of this study was to study and compare externalizing and internalizing difficulties, clinical problems of adolescent girls who attempted a suicide and delinquent girls. A total of 100 adolescent girls aged 1118 years have participated in this study: 50 of them were suicide attempters, and the other 50 girls had problems of delinquent behavior. In this study, the questionnaire ASEBA YSR 1118 was used. To compare averages, Student’s t and Mann-Whitney’s U tests were applied with a 0.05 level of statistical significance.
For adolescent girls who attempted a suicide, more prominent internal difficulties were identified. They were more depressive/anxious, presented more somatic complains, and were more closed/anxious. Those girls felt more anxiety and presented more affective problems. The difference in the average scores of scales of the both groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). Externalizing problems of adolescent suicide attempters did not significantly differ from ones of the girls with delinquent behavior. The average scores of scales on braking of rules and aggression were not significantly different.
Girls with delinquent behavior had a higher social competency, and the girls who attempted a suicide more often presented significant social difficulties, though there was no statistically significant difference in the scores on the activity competence scale.
Conclusions. The adolescent girls who attempted a suicide have more evident internal difficulties than delinquent girls do, though externalizing behavior difficulties of the suicide attempters are similar to those of girls with delinquent behavior. The girls who attempted a suicide experience more social difficulties, and their social competency is lower when comparing to delinquent girls of the same age.
Correspondence to V. Ribakovienė, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Policy, Mykolas Romeris University, Ateities 20, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 6 June 2007, accepted 1 February 2008