Nav: Home

Link found between witnessing parental domestic violence during childhood and attempted suicide

June 09, 2016

Toronto, ON - A new study by the University of Toronto (U of T), found the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among adults who had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence during childhood was 17.3% compared to 2.3% among those without this childhood adversity.

"We had expected that the association between chronic parental domestic violence and later suicide attempts would be explained by childhood sexual or physical abuse, or by mental illness and substance abuse. However, even when we took these factors into account, those exposed to chronic parental domestic violence still had more than twice the odds of having attempted suicide" reported lead author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Institute for Life Course and Aging.

The study examined a nationally representative sample of 22,559 community-dwelling Canadians, using data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. Parental domestic violence was defined as "chronic" if it had occurred more than 10 times before the respondent was age 16.

"When domestic violence is chronic in a home, there is a risk of long term negative outcomes for the children, even when the children themselves are not abused. These chaotic home environments cast a long shadow. Social workers and health professionals must continue to work vigilantly to prevent domestic violence and to support survivors of this abuse and their children" said Fuller-Thomson.

"Those who had been maltreated during their childhood were also more likely to have attempted suicide, with 16.9% of those sexually abused and 12.4% of those physically abuse having made at least one suicide attempt" reported Reshma Dhrodia, a recent MSW graduate of the University of Toronto.

"A history of major depressive disorder quadrupled the odds of suicide attempts. A history of anxiety disorders, substance abuse and/or chronic pain approximately doubled the odds of suicide attempts" said Stephanie Baird, a co-author and social work doctoral student at the University of Toronto. "These four factors accounted for only 10% of the association between suicide attempts and parental domestic violence, but almost half of the association between suicide attempts and childhood sexual abuse or physical abuse. This suggests professionals working with survivors of childhood adversities should consider a wide range of interventions addressing mental illness, substance abuse and chronic pain."

The paper was published online this week in the journal Child: Care, Health and Development.
-end-
Article details: "The association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and suicide attempts in a population-based study" by E. Fuller-Thomson, S. L. Baird, R. Dhrodia and S. Brennenstuhl (doi:10.1111/cch.12351). Child: Care, Health and Development.

A copy of the paper is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Please contact esme.fuller.thomson@utoronto.ca.

For more information:

Esme Fuller-Thomson (Study lead author)
Professor & Sandra Rotman Chair
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto
Tele: 416 209-3231
Email: esme.fuller.thomson@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto

Related Mental Illness Articles:

Skills training opens 'DOORS' to digital mental health for patients with serious mental illness
Digital technologies, especially smartphone apps, have great promise for increasing access to care for patients with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia.
Using voice analysis to track the wellness of patients with mental illness
A new study finds that an interactive voice application using artificial intelligence is as accurate at tracking the wellbeing of patients being treated for serious mental illness as their own physicians.
Research calls for new measures to treat mental illness and opioid use
Opioid use among psychiatric hospital patients needs to be addressed through an integrated approach to managing mental illness, pain and substance use, a study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has found.
Researchers challenge myth of the relationship between mental illness and incarceration
Researchers examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and future incarceration by merging data from psychiatric interviews that took place in the 1980s with 30 years of follow-up data.
New research raises important questions on how mental illness is currently diagnosed
This research raises questions as to whether current diagnoses accurately reflect the underlying neurobiology of mental illness.
Young teens of color more likely to avoid peers with mental illness
Students identifying as black or Latino are more likely to say they would socially distance themselves from peers with a mental illness, a key indicator of mental illness stigma, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Hair could be the key to better mental-illness diagnosis in teens
It's possible that a lock of hair could one day aid in the diagnosis of depression and in efforts to monitor the effects of treatment, said the author of a new study examining cortisol levels in the hair of teens.
Body and mind need care in mental illness
The 18-year life expectancy gap between people with mental illness and the general population can only be bridged by protecting patients' physical and mental health, according to a new study.
More support needed for young carers of parents with mental illness
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) says there is a 'clear need' for more support for young carers of parents with a mental illness as they move into adulthood.
Where to draw the line between mental health and illness?
Schizophrenia is considered an illness by nearly all Finns, while grief and homosexuality are not.
More Mental Illness News and Mental Illness Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.