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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2006 Dec;194(12):971-4.

Protective factors against suicidal behavior in depressed adults reporting childhood abuse.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Most previous studies compared suicidal behavior in subjects with and without a history of childhood abuse, whereas less attention was paid to the comparison of suicide attempters and nonattempters among subjects reporting childhood abuse. To identify risk and protective factors against suicidal behavior, we compared suicide attempters with nonattempters among the sample of 119 depressed inpatients who reported childhood abuse. Compared with nonattempters, suicide attempters were younger, had more self-rated depression severity and suicidal ideation, higher trait aggression and more cluster B personality disorder comorbidity, less coping potential, and fewer moral objections to suicide (MOS)/religious beliefs. Logistic regression showed that more severe suicidal ideation and fewer MOS/religious beliefs were associated with suicidal acts in subjects with reported childhood abuse. Furthermore, suicidal ideation and MOS/religious beliefs were significantly inversely correlated. The results of this clinical study add support to previous reports that religious/spiritual coping could serve as an additional resource in prevention of suicidal behavior for subjects with reported childhood abuse.

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