Childhood Diagnoses and Later Risk for Multiple Suicide Attempts

Authors

  • M. David Rudd PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Baylor University in Waco, Texas;
      Address correspondence to M. David Rudd, PhD, Baylor University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 97334, Waco, Texas 76798-7334; E-mail:M_Rudd@Baylor.edu.
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  • Jr. Thomas E. Joiner PhD,

    1. Psychology Department at Florida State University in Tallahassee; and
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  • Harold Rumzek PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Texas A & M University Health Science Center, College of Medicine, and the Scott & White Clinic and Hospital in Temple, Texas.
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Address correspondence to M. David Rudd, PhD, Baylor University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 97334, Waco, Texas 76798-7334; E-mail:M_Rudd@Baylor.edu.

Abstract

The relationship between childhood diagnosis, personality psychopathology and suicidal behavior in young adulthood was explored in a sample of 327 suicide ideators, single attempters, and multiple attempters. Of the total sample, 174 received at least one childhood diagnosis; the 153 without a diagnosis provided a comparison group. Results suggest that a childhood history of an anxiety disorder or major depression predispose a person to both later multiple suicide attempts and personality psychopathology. Gender was found to play a significant role, with females being predisposed to multiple attempts in young adulthood but only as a function of childhood anxiety, not major depression. Additionally, childhood anxiety disorders were found to predispose to multiple attempts as a function of personality psychopathology, with distinctly different paths for males and females. Implications are discussed in terms of etiology, prevention, and treatment.

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