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Longitudinal Associations between Violence and Suicidality from Adolescence into Adulthood


  • This project was supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention R01 CE001395. This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due to Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health Website ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

Address correspondence to Manfred Van Dulmen, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242; E-mail:


The link between violence and suicide is well documented. Previous studies, however, largely rely on cross-sectional designs or only consider violence as an antecedent of suicide. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the longitudinal relationship between violence and suicide from adolescence into young adulthood. Data were derived from Wave II (1995–1996), Wave III (2001–2002), and Wave IV (2007–2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (= 8,966). We tested (2011–2013) a series of path analysis models in Mplus to determine the longitudinal associations between violence and suicidality. Results from the path analyses indicated that violence and suicidality mutually affect each other from adolescence into young adulthood. We found some evidence that the association between suicidality and violence was stronger for males compared to females, particularly in early and young adulthood. The current study confirms previous findings by demonstrating that violence is a risk factor for future suicide. We also extended the previous literature by demonstrating that a history of suicidality is associated with future risk for violence. Our findings highlight the importance of further integrating prevention efforts to reduce violence and suicidality during adolescence and early/young adulthood.

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