Executive functions and impulsivity in suicide attempter adolescents with major depressive disorder

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Onat M., Emiroglu N. I., BAYKARA H. B., Ozerdem A., ÖZYURT G., ÖZTÜRK Y., ...More

PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, vol.29, no.3, pp.332-339, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/24750573.2018.1541647
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.332-339
  • Keywords: Suicide, executive functions, impulsivity, adolescents, major depressive disorder, RISK-FACTORS, VERBAL FLUENCY, BEHAVIOR, CHILDREN, AGE, ATTENTION, IDEATION, FLEXIBILITY, AGGRESSION, SYMPTOMS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functions and suicidality in terms of impulsivity and depression severity. METHODS: Depressed adolescents who have made a suicide attempt in the last year (n = 32), depressed adolescents without a suicide attempt (n = 30), and healthy controls (n = 30) participated in the study in Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Clinical diagnoses were made according to the DSM-IV by applying Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL). Data were collected by using a sociodemographic data form, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and the Children's Depression Rating Scale - Revised (CDRS-R). To evaluate all participants' intelligence scores, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-R) was applied for adolescents aged under 16 years, and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was applied to adolescents aged 16-18 years. To determine the performance-based executive functions, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Stroop Test were applied to all participants. RESULTS: In this study, the participants who had made a suicide attempt displayed lower performance in the Stroop Test, especially in part 1 and part 4 compared with the controls (p = .04 and p = .011). Depressive patients also exhibited lower performance in the Stroop Test in part 3 compared with the controls (p = .049). Impulsivity was found more severe in depressive patients compared with controls (p < .001). There were no statistically significant differences between depressive patients with or without suicide attempt in terms of depression severity. CONCLUSION: Executive dysfunction appears to be associated with suicidal behaviour in adolescents with the major depressive disorder. This findings need to be replicated with a larger sample size in the future.