Classification of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children: Results from penalised logistic regression analyses in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study

Laura S van Velzen, Yara J Toenders, Aina Avila-Parcet, Richard Dinga, Jill A Rabinowitz, Adrián I Campos, Neda Jahanshad, Miguel E Rentería, Lianne Schmaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite efforts to predict suicide risk in children, the ability to reliably identify who will engage in suicide thoughts or behaviours has remained unsuccessful.

AIMS: We apply a novel machine-learning approach and examine whether children with suicide thoughts or behaviours could be differentiated from children without suicide thoughts or behaviours based on a combination of traditional (sociodemographic, physical health, social-environmental, clinical psychiatric) risk factors, but also more novel risk factors (cognitive, neuroimaging and genetic characteristics).

METHOD: The study included 5885 unrelated children (50% female, 67% White, 9-11 years of age) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We performed penalised logistic regression analysis to distinguish between: (a) children with current or past suicide thoughts or behaviours; (b) children with a mental illness but no suicide thoughts or behaviours (clinical controls); and (c) healthy control children (no suicide thoughts or behaviours and no history of mental illness). The model was subsequently validated with data from seven independent sites involved in the ABCD study (n = 1712).

RESULTS: Our results showed that we were able to distinguish the suicide thoughts or behaviours group from healthy controls (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve: 0.80 child-report, 0.81 for parent-report) and clinical controls (0.71 child-report and 0.76-0.77 parent-report). However, we could not distinguish children with suicidal ideation from those who attempted suicide (AUROC: 0.55-0.58 child-report; 0.49-0.53 parent-report). The factors that differentiated the suicide thoughts or behaviours group from the clinical control group included family conflict, prodromal psychosis symptoms, impulsivity, depression severity and history of mental health treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: This work highlights that mostly clinical psychiatric factors were able to distinguish children with suicide thoughts or behaviours from children without suicide thoughts or behaviours. Future research is needed to determine if these variables prospectively predict subsequent suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-218
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume220
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the MQ Brighter Futures Award MQBFC/2 (LS) and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01MH117601 (L.S., N.J.). L.S. is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (1140764). Data used in the preparation of this article were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study ( https://abcdstudy.org ), held in the NIMH Data Archive (NDA). This is a multisite, longitudinal study designed to recruit more than 10 000 children age 9–10 and follow them over 10 years into early adulthood. The ABCD study is supported by the National Institutes of Health and additional federal partners under award numbers U01DA0401048, U01DA050989, U01DA051016, U01DA041022, U01DA051018, U01DA051037, U01DA050987, U01DA041174, U01DA041106, U01DA041117, U01DA041028, U01DA041134, U01DA050988, U01DA051039, U01DA041156, U01DA041025, U01DA041120, U01DA051038, U01DA041148, U01DA041093, U01DA041089, U24DA041123, U24DA041147. A full list of supporters is available at https://abcdstudy.org/federal-partners.html . A listing of participating sites and a complete listing of the study investigators can be found at https://abcdstudy.org/consortium_members/ . ABCD consortium investigators designed and implemented the study and/or provided data but did not necessarily participate in analysis or writing of this report. This manuscript reflects the views of the authors and may not reflect the opinions or views of the NIH or ABCD consortium investigators. The ABCD repository grows and changes over time. The ABCD data used in this report came from 10.15154/1520786. DOIs can be found at nda.nih.gov. SM Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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