The University of Washington issued a news release about
research to be presented later this week at the annual meeting of the
American Association of Suicidology. Some excerpts:
Adolescents and young adults typically consider peer relationships to be
all important. However, it appears that strong family support, not peer support, is
protective in reducing future suicidal behavior among young adults when
they have experienced depression or have attempted suicide.
New research that will be presented here April 17 at the annual meeting
of the American Association of Suicidology shows that high school
depression and a previous suicide attempt were significant predictors of
thinking about suicide one or two years later. But, those individuals
who had high levels of depression or had attempted suicide in high
school were less likely to engage in suicidal thinking if they had
strong family support and bonds.
In addition, having a current romantic partner also reduced suicidal thoughts.
By bonding, the researchers are referring to a person’s closeness with
his or her family, or a partner, enjoying spending time with them, and
the ability to talk with them about important issues.
“Our findings suggest that the protective quality of family support and
bonding, or having an intimate partner, are not replaced by peer support
and bonding in emerging adulthood. “