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The Additive Effect On Suicidality of Family History of Suicidal Behavior and Early Traumatic Experiences

J Lopez-Castroman, S Guillaume, E Olié, I Jaussent, E Baca-Garcia & P Courtet
Archives of Suicide Research

Abstract
Background: Family history of suicidal behavior and personal history of childhood abuse are reported risk factors for suicide attempts and suicide completion. We aim to quantify the additive effect of family history of suicidal behavior and different subtypes of childhood abuse on suicidal behavior.

Methods: We examined a sample of 496 suicide attempters comparing individuals with family history of suicidal behavior and personal history of childhood (physical or sexual) abuse, individuals with family history of suicidal behavior only, individuals with history of early traumatic experiences only and individuals with none of these two risk factors with regards to suicidal features.

Results: An additive effect was found for the age at the first attempt in suicide attempters with both family history of suicidal behavior and either physical or sexual abuse. No significant interactions were found between family history of suicidal behavior and childhood trauma in relation to any characteristics of suicidal behavior.

Discussion: Subjects presenting family history of suicidal behavior and childhood abuse attempt suicide earlier in life than subjects with just one or none of them, particularly if they were sexually abused. Other suicidality indexes were only partially or not associated with this combination of risk factors. A careful assessment of patients with both family history of suicidal behavior and childhood abuse could help to prevent future suicide attempts, particularly in young people.

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