Preliminary Associations among Relational Victimization, Targeted Rejection, and Suicidality in Adolescents: A Prospective Study

Maya Massing-Schaffer, Sarah W. Helms, Karen D. Rudolph, George M. Slavich, Paul D. Hastings, Matteo Giletta, Matthew K. Nock, Mitchell J. Prinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined associations between multiple types of interpersonal and noninterpersonal stressors and the subsequent occurrence of suicide ideation and attempts among female adolescents. Adolescents ages 12 to 18 years old (n = 160) at elevated risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors were followed for 18 months, divided into two 9-month epochs for data analysis (Periods 1 and 2). Exposure to acute relational victimization, targeted rejection, nonspecified interpersonal, and noninterpersonal life stressors over the first 9-month epoch (Period 1) was assessed using semistructured interviews and an independent life stress rating team. Participants also completed phone-based semistructured interviews of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Preliminary analyses showed significant prospective associations between acute targeted rejection and nonspecified interpersonal stress during Period 1 and suicide ideation during Period 2, as well as relational victimization and noninterpersonal stress during Period 1 and suicide attempts during Period 2. However, in logistic regression analyses that adjusted for prior suicidality and depressive symptoms, relational victimization during Period 1 (but not targeted rejection, nonspecified interpersonal or noninterpersonal events) was associated with increased odds of suicide attempt during Period 2. Therefore, acute relational victimization exposure is associated with heightened risk for suicidal behaviors in female adolescents. Future studies should examine potential mediators and moderators of this association, and these stressors should be considered for inclusion in clinical screening tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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