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Parent's Suicide Attempts Increases Suicide Risk in Their Children

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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. Of the 701 offspring followed in the study ~
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. The research followed the children of parents with mood disorders, and were were followed for an average of nearly six years. The study of 701 children (ages 10 to 50 years) of 334 parents with mood disorders, discovered that 191 (57.2 percent) had also made a suicide attempt.

Authors found a direct effect of a p…