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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2012 Jun;42(3):279-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2012.00089.x. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Evidence supporting an independent association between childhood physical abuse and lifetime suicidal ideation.

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  • 1Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work & Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A1. esme.fuller.thomson@utoronto.ca


A regionally representative Canadian sample was used to investigate the gender-specific relationship between childhood physical abuse and lifetime suicidal ideation. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was about five times higher in abused men and women compared with their nonabused counterparts. After controlling for five clusters of potentially confounding factors (adverse childhood conditions, socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, psychosocial stressors/chronic illnesses, and mental health), childhood physical abuse was significantly associated with suicidal ideation (OR(adjusted) women = 4.48, 95% CI = 3.32-6.04; men = 3.57, 95% CI = 2.08-6.14). These findings suggest childhood physical abuse is independently associated with suicidal ideation and highlight the importance of providing preventative treatment to childhood abuse survivors.

© 2012 The American Association of Suicidology.

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