Suicidal Behavior In Young People May Be Related To Family History Of Suicides


Children May Attempt Suicide Within 2 Years Of Parental Attempt

Research by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA has shown that a tendency towards suicide may run in the family. The study (which included Dr. David A. Brent) said that if a parent has attempted suicide, then their child may attempt to follow suit within 2 years. However, there is no clear reason indicated that leads to such tendencies running in a family. In the study, 334 parents and 701 of their children – aged 10 to 50 years were studied. The parents had mood disorders, and the children were followed for an average of 5.6 years.

Indication Of Depression Increases With Advanced Age

At the start of the study, the children answered self-reported questionnaires and went through structured psychiatric assessments to see if they had any suicidal tendencies or mental health disorders. It was found that 44 or 6.3% of the 701 children had attempted suicide before the study. 29 or 4.1% made an attempt during the study, and of these, 19 or 65.5% made a first-time suicide attempt. The end results showed that children of parents who had tried to commit suicide were almost five times more likely to attempt suicide themselves. With age, depression increases, and that explains how the suicide attempts of offspring with suicidal parents is more likely.

Impulsive Aggression Must Be Targeted To Stop Suicides In Children and Teens

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers said, “impulsive aggression played an important role in increasing the likelihood of an offspring suicide attempt, but it did so by increasing the risk of the subsequent development of a mood disorder, which in turn increased the risk of an attempt.” Therefore, the most important thing would be to target impulsive aggression so high risk children can be saved.


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