Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Parents' death and adolescent suicide risk

Most young people who lose a parent actually adjust remarkably well but a minority go on to develop mental-health problems which are, in turn, known to be a risk factor for suicide, something attempted by 5-8% of adolescents in Western societies. A Danish study - by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital - looked into the links between parental death and suicide in a sample of 72,765 teenagers. They found that young people who had lost one biological parent had a 71% greater risk of going on to kill themselves than those whose parents were still alive while young people who lost more than one parent had a risk that was 2.7 times greater.

Jakobsen, Ida Skytte and Christiansen, Erik - Young people’s risk of suicide attempts in relation to parental death: A population-based register study Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry  (2010)doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02298.x

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