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Original Research

Depression, Rumination, and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents With Mood Disorders: Sex Differences in This Relationship

Dianying Liu, MD, PhD; Gang Lei, MD, PhD; Dian Li, MD; Hongdong Deng, MD; Xiang Yang Zhang, MD, PhD; and Yonghui Dang, MD, PhD

Published: June 19, 2024


Background: Sex differences in suicide attempts have been widely recognized across domains such as depression and rumination. The relationship between depression, rumination, and suicide attempts in mood disorders has been studied before; however, how they interact across sexes remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the sex differences in the relationship between depression, rumination, and suicide attempts in Chinese adolescents with mood disorders.

Methods: We recruited 681 adolescents with mood disorders who met ICD-10 criteria for having unipolar or bipolar depression with a current depressive episode at the time of the study and collected demographic and clinical data.

Results: The prevalence of suicide attempts in female adolescents with mood disorders (64.36%) was significantly higher than that in male adolescents with mood disorders (49.47%), with an odds ratio of 1.84 (95% CI, 1.31–2.59). Regression analysis showed that PHQ-9 was independently associated with suicide attempts among male adolescents with mood disorders, while in female adolescents with mood disorders, total scores of PHQ-9 and RRS-10 were independently associated with suicide attempts. Importantly, in female adolescents with mood disorders, the mediating effect of RRS-10 total score on the relationship between PHQ-9 and suicide attempts was significant (standardized β = 0.005, P = 0.003, 95% CI, 0.002–0.008), the mediating effect accounted for 31.25% of the total effect of depressive symptoms on suicide attempts.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that there are sex differences in depression, rumination, and suicide attempts and in the interaction between them in adolescents with mood disorders. These sex differences may have important clinical implications, both for improving strategies to detect suicidal behaviors and for developing better early intervention programs for this population.

J Clin Psychiatry 2024;85(3):23m15136

Author affiliations are listed at the end of this article.

Volume: 85

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