Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse

  • Jelena Brezo (a1), Joel Paris (a2), Frank Vitaro (a3), Martine Hébert (a4), Richard E. Tremblay (a3) and Gustavo Turecki (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Although childhood abuse is an important correlate of suicidality, not all individuals who were abused as children attempt suicide.

Aims

To identify correlates and moderators of suicide attempts in adults reporting childhood physical abuse, contact sexual abuse, or both.

Method

A French-Canadian, school-based cohort (n=1684) was prospectively followed.

Results

The identity of the abuser moderated the relationship of abuse frequency and suicide attempts, with individuals abused by their immediate family being at highest risk. Although paternal education exhibited negative associations (OR=0.71, 95% CI 0.58–0.88), several externalising phenotypes had positive associations with suicide attempts: disruptive disorders (OR=3.10, 95% CI 1.05–9.15), conduct problems (OR=1.09, 95% CI 1.01–1.19) and childhood aggression (OR=1.41, 95% CI 1.08–1.83).

Conclusions

Characteristics of the abuser and abusive acts may be important additional indicators of risk for suicide attempts. Future research needs to employ developmental approaches to examine the extent and mechanisms by which childhood abuse contributes to the shared variance of suicidality, maladaptive traits and psychopathology.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Gustavo Turecki, McGill Group for Suicide Studies, 6875 Boulevard LaSalle, Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3, Canada. Email: gustavo.turecki@mcgill.ca
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
1 Santa Mina, EE, Gallop, RM. Childhood sexual and physical abuse and adult self-harm and suicidal behaviour: a literature review. Can J Psychiatry 1998; 43: 793800.
2 Kaslow, NJ, Thompson, MP, Meadows, LA, Jacobs, D, Chance, S, Gibb, B, Bornstein, H, Hollins, L, Rashid, A, Phillips, K. Factors that mediate and moderate the link between partner abuse and suicidal behavior in African American women. J Consult Clin Psychol 1998; 66: 533–40.
3 Beautrais, AL. Risk factors for suicide and attempted suicide among young people. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2000; 34: 420–36.
4 Brezo, J, Paris, J, Turecki, G. Personality traits as correlates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide completions: a systematic review. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2006; 113: 180206.
5 Masse, LC, Tremblay, RE. Behavior of boys in kindergarten and the onset of substance use during adolescence. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1997; 54: 62–8.
6 Breton, JJ, Bergeron, L, Valla, JP, Berthiaume, C, St-Georges, M. Diagnostic interview schedule for children (DISC-2.25) in Quebec: reliability findings in light of the MECA study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1998; 37: 1167–74.
7 Robins, LN, Cottler, L, Bucholtz, K, Compton, W. Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. Washington University, 1995.
8 Beck, AT, Kovacs, M, Weissman, A. Assessment of suicidal intention: the Scale for Suicide Ideation. J Consult Clin Psychol 1979; 47: 343–52.
9 Beck, RW, Morris, JB, Beck, AT. Cross-validation of the Suicidal Intent Scale. Psychol Rep 1974; 34: 445–6.
10 Livesley, WJ, Jang, KL, Vernon, PA. Phenotypic and genetic structure of traits delineating personality disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1998; 55: 941–8.
11 Barratt, E. Impulsive subtraits: arousal and information processing. In Motivation, Emotion, and Personality (eds Spence, JT, Izard, CE): 137146. Elsevier, 1985.
12 Straus, MA, Hamby, SL, Boney-McCoy, S, Sugarman, DB. The revised conflict tactics scales (CTS2). Development and preliminary psychometric data. J Fam Issues 1996; 17: 283316.
13 Felitti, VJ, Anda, RF, Nordenberg, D, Williamson, DF, Spitz, AM, Edwards, V, Koss, MP, Marks, JS. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study. Am J Prev Med 1998; 14: 245–8.
14 Turner, RJ. Social support: conceptualization, measurement, and implications for mental health. Res Community Ment Health 1983; 3: 67111.
15 Windle, M, Windle, RC, Scheidt, DM, Miller, GB. Physical and sexual abuse and associated mental disorders among alcoholic inpatients. Am J Psychiatry 1995; 151: 1322–8.
16 Straus, MA. Social stress and marital violence in a national sample of American families. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1980; 347: 229–50.
17 Beautrais, AL, Wells, JE, McGee, MA, Oakley Browne, MA. Suicidal behaviour in Te Rau Hinengaro: the New Zealand Mental Health Survey. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2006; 40: 896904.
18 King, RA, Schwab-Stone, M, Flisher, AJ, Greenwald, S, Kramer, RA, Goodman, SH, Lahey, BB, Shaffer, D, Gould, MS. Psychosocial and risk behavior correlates of youth suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2001; 40: 837–46.
19 O'Boyle, M, Brandon, EA. Suicide attempts, substance abuse, and personality. J Subst Abuse Treat 1998; 15: 353–6.
20 Kessler, RC, Borges, G, Walters, EE. Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999; 56: 617–26.
21 Dinwiddie, SH, Heath, AC, Dunne, MP, Bucholz, KK, Madden, PA, Slutske, WS, Bierut, LJ, Statham, DB, Martin, NG. Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study. Psychol Med 2000; 30: 4152.
22 D'Eramo, KS, Prinstein, MJ, Freeman, J, Grapentine, WL, Spirito, A. Psychiatric diagnoses and comorbidity in relation to suicidal behavior among psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 2004; 35: 2135.
23 Hebert, M, Parent, N, Daignault, IV, Tourigny, M. A typological analysis of behavioral profiles of sexually abused children. Child Maltreat 2006; 11: 203–16.
24 Kinard, EM. Methodological issues and practical problems in conducting research on maltreated children. Child Abuse Negl 1994; 18: 645–56.
25 Beitchman, JH, Inglis, A, Schachter, D. Child psychiatry and early intervention: II. The internalizing disorders. Can J Psychiatry 1992; 37: 234–9.
26 Thompson, MP, Kingree, JB, Desai, S. Gender differences in long-term health consequences of physical abuse of children: data from a nationally representative survey. Am J Public Health 2004; 94: 599604.
27 Teicher, MH, Andersen, SL, Polcari, A, Navalta, CP, Kim, DM. The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2003; 27: 3344.
28 Renaud, J, Brent, DA, Birmaher, B, Chiappetta, L, Bridge, J. Suicide in adolescents with disruptive disorders. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999; 38: 846–51.
29 Turecki, G. Dissecting the suicide phenotype: the role of impulsive-aggressive behaviours. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2005; 30: 398408.
30 Hebert, H, Tremblay, C, Parent, N, Daignault, IV, Piché, C. Correlates of behavioral outcomes in sexually abused children. J Fam Violence 2006; 21: 287–99.
31 Brown, J, Cohen, P, Johnson, JG, Smailes, EM. Childhood abuse and neglect: specificity of effects on adolescent and young adult depression and suicidality. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999; 38: 1490–6.
32 Allen, DM, Farmer, RG. Family relationships of adults with borderline personality disorder. Compr Psychiatry 1996; 37: 4351.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse

  • Jelena Brezo (a1), Joel Paris (a2), Frank Vitaro (a3), Martine Hébert (a4), Richard E. Tremblay (a3) and Gustavo Turecki (a5)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *