Associations between maternal closeness, suicidal ideation, and risk behaviors in Cape Town

Tamika D. Gilreath, Gary King, John W. Graham, Alan J. Flisher, Carl Lombard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Health compromising behaviors, such as smoking and other risk behaviors tend to co-occur, and contribute to the leading causes of preventable death, disease, and disability among adolescents and young adults worldwide. The present study assesses a model of the direct and indirect effects of maternal closeness with suicidal ideation on smoking and risky behaviors. The sample consisted of 657 South African youth assessed over two time points with comparison of effects between males and females. Maternal closeness had a significant effect on suicidal ideation among females. Suicidal ideation had a significant effect on risky behaviors among males and lifetime smoking among females. A significant indirect effect was observed from maternal closeness to lifetime smoking among females. These results indicate that suicidal ideation is associated with lifetime smoking and risky behaviors separately among male and female adolescents and highlight the need to focus on the development of mental health preventive interventions for both genders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between maternal closeness, suicidal ideation, and risk behaviors in Cape Town'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this