A suicide attempt by a parent increased the odds nearly five-fold that a child will make their own attempts at suicide, according to a report by David A. Brent, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
While other studies established that suicidal behavior can run in families, few have looked at how suicidal behavior is transmitted. The researcher's conclusion?
- A suicide attempt by a parent increases the odds nearly 5-fold that one of their children will attempt suicide.
- 44 (6.3 percent) had made a suicide attempt before participating in the study and
- 29 (4.1 percent) attempted suicide during the study follow-up.
Authors found a direct effect of a parent's suicide attempt on a suicide attempt by their child, even after researchers took into account a history of previous suicide attempt by the offspring and a familial transmission of mood disorder.
"Impulsive aggression was an important precursor of mood disorder and could be targeted in interventions designed to prevent youth at high familial risk from making a suicide attempt," the study concludes.
* * * * *Story Source: Materials provided by American Medical Association Network Journals. David A. Brent, Nadine M. Melhem, Maria Oquendo, Ainsley Burke, Boris Birmaher, Barbara Stanley, Candice Biernesser, John Keilp, David Kolko, Steve Ellis, Giovanna Porta, Jamie Zelazny, Satish Iyengar, J. John Mann. Familial Pathways to Early-Onset Suicide Attempt. JAMA Psychiatry, 2014