Childhood trauma and the likelihood of increased suicidal risk in schizophrenia

Psychiatry Res. 2019 May;275:100-107. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.03.023. Epub 2019 Mar 14.


The aims of the present study were to investigate the dimensions of childhood trauma (CT) in patients with schizophrenia, and to predict suicidal risk (e.g., current suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts) by CT dimensions and clinical factors (positive and negative symptoms and depression). Eighty-two inpatients with schizophrenia completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form (CTQ-SF), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSSI); they were also administered the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).The presence of lifetime suicide attempts was assessed by structured diagnostic clinical interview. Patients with lifetime suicide attempts scored higher on sexual abuse than those without attempts after controlling for depression severity. Patients with high suicidal risk had higher scores on physical neglect than those without high risk after controlling for depression severity. Patients with high CT had higher scores on negative and positive symptoms, current suicidal ideation, and depression than those with low CT. Logistic regression analyses indicated that sexual abuse was a unique predictor of lifetime suicide attempts, and that physical neglect and depression were unique predictors of current suicidal ideation. These findings indicate that patients with schizophrenia who have experienced CT may be at increased risk for suicide.

Keywords: Childhood trauma; Schizophrenia; Suicidal risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences*
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Risk
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult