Cognitive Style and Pleasant Activities Among Female Adolescent Suicide Attempters

Mary J. Rotheram-Borus, Paul D. Trautman, Steve C. Dopkins, Patrick E. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive style and pleasant activities of 77 suicide-attempting female minority adolescents were compared with those of 2 groups of non-suicide-attempting female minority adolescents, 39 who were psychiatrically disturbed and 23 who were nondisturbed. Suicide attempters differed from other groups, even when depression and IQ were statistically controlled. They reported significantly fewer alternatives for solving interpersonal problems, were significantly more focused on problems, and were more likely to report a wishful thinking style of coping in stressful situations than were members of the nondisturbed comparison group. Across groups, depression was associated with significantly more dysfunctional attributions. Interpersonal problem-solving ability and attributional style best distinguished the suicide attempters. Results suggest using different cognitive-behavioral interventions with depressed and nondepressed minority female adolescent suicide attempters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-561
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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