The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of the Youth-Nominated Support Team–Version II (YST-II) for suicidal adolescents, an intervention based on social support and health behavior models, which was designed to supplement standard treatments.
Psychiatrically hospitalized and suicidal adolescents, 13–17 years of age, were randomly assigned to treatment-as-usual (TAU) + YST-II (n = 223) or TAU only (n = 225). YST-II provided tailored psychoeducation to youth-nominated adults in addition to weekly check-ins for 3 months following hospitalization. In turn, these adults had regular supportive contact with adolescents. Adolescents assigned to TAU + YST-II had an average of 3.43 (SD = 0.83) nominated adults. Measures included the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire–Junior (SIQ-JR; W. M. Reynolds, 1988), Children’s Depression Rating Scale–Revised (E. O. Poznanski & H. B. Mokros, 1996), Beck Hopelessness Scale (A. T. Beck & R. A. Steer, 1993), and Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS; K. Hodges, 1996). YST-II had very limited positive effects, which were moderated by history of multiple suicide attempts, and no negative effects. It resulted in more rapid decreases in suicidal ideation (SIQ-JR) for multiple suicide attempters during the initial 6 weeks after hospitalization (small-to-moderate effect size). For non-multiple attempters, it was associated with greater declines in functional impairment (CAFAS) at 3 and 12 months (small effect sizes). YST-II had no effects on suicide attempts and no enduring effects on SIQ-JR scores. (Published abstract provided)