Childhood diagnoses and later risk for multiple suicide attempts

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2004 Summer;34(2):113-25. doi: 10.1521/suli.


The relationship between childhood diagnosis, personality psychopathology and suicidal behavior in young adulthood was explored in a sample of 327 suicide ideators, single attempters, and multiple attempters. Of the total sample, 174 received at least one childhood diagnosis; the 153 without a diagnosis provided a comparison group. Results suggest that a childhood history of an anxiety disorder or major depression predispose a person to both later multiple suicide attempts and personality psychopathology. Gender was found to play a significant role, with females being predisposed to multiple attempts in young adulthood but only as a function of childhood anxiety, not major depression. Additionally, childhood anxiety disorders were found to predispose to multiple attempts as a function of personality psychopathology, with distinctly different paths for males and females. Implications are discussed in terms of etiology, prevention, and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Problem Solving
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data