Suicidal ideation among 8-year-olds who are maltreated and at risk: findings from the LONGSCAN studies

Child Maltreat. 2005 Feb;10(1):26-36. doi: 10.1177/1077559504271271.


Suicidal ideation was examined among 1,051 8-year-old children identified as maltreated or at risk for maltreatment. Of these children, 9.9% reported suicidal ideation. Many variables, including maltreatment, had bivariate associations with suicidal ideation. Severity of physical abuse, chronicity of maltreatment, and the presence of multiple types of maltreatment strongly predicted suicidal ideation. In multivariate analyses of the domains of proximity, only ethnic background remained significant among demographic variables, only witnessed violence and maltreatment remained significant among family or contextual variables, and only child psychological distress, substance use, and poor social problem solving remained significant among child variables. The effects of ethnicity, maltreatment, and witnessed violence on suicidal ideation were mediated by child functioning. There were few interactions between maltreatment and other factors to predict suicidal ideation. Children who are maltreated and those exposed to community and domestic violence are at increased risk of suicidal ideation, even by age 8.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*