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Incest and suicide attempt in adolescence Kim, Shlomit


Research regarding incest victims who attempted suicide in adolescence has received little attention although incest is considered as one of the most destructive forms of sexual abuse; and the rate of suicide attempts in adolescence has been on the rise. This study employs an exploratory approach, investigating four female adolescents, aged 15-19, who experienced both, incestuous relationships in the past and suicide attempt in adolescence. Using an open-ended questionnaire, the subjects were interviewed and the recorded responses were transcribed and analyzed, using Glaser and Strauss' 'constant comparative method of analysis'. The conceptual findings indicate that the incest victims have gone through a process comprising three stages: i) becoming a victim, ii) escalation of problems, and iii) the healing process. The transition from one stage to another entailed change in the victims' lives. These stages included a number of categories and properties with their types, dimensions and conditions. The data suggest that incest is associated with suicide attempt in adolescence thus, incest victims should be considered a high risk group regarding suicidal behaviour in addition to the other sequels of incest. The conceptual categories and the themes that emerged from the analysis have implications for social-work practice, policy and further research.

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