Thursday, August 07, 2008

Child abuse and suicide

A study of 3,338 children in Quebec looked into the prevalence of child abuse - both sexual and physical - and its links to suicidal behaviour later in life. Sexual abuse was reported by 9.9% of the children (men 2.7%, women 18%) physical abuse by 20.6% (men 26.3%, women 12.8%) and both types of abuse by 8.2% (men 4%, women 12.8%). In a third of the sexual abuse cases the abuser was a family member and in about two-thirds of cases the abuse occured on multiple occasions. Overall participants with no history of childhood abuse were less likely to demonstrate suicidal behaviour than those who had been abused. Children who had not been abused had the lowest prevalence of suicidal behaviour (6%) followed by those who had been physically abused (11.7%), those who had been sexually abused (14.8%) and those who had suffered both types of abuse (32.2%). Repeated abuse was more strongly associated with suicide attempts than a single incidence of abuse and abuse by immediate family members was linked to a higher level of risk than abuse by other family members or by strangers.

You can read more about this research at

No comments: