Article |

Suicidal Behavior Runs in Families:  A Controlled Family Study of Adolescent Suicide Victims

David A. Brent, MD; Jeff Bridge; Barbara A. Johnson, MD; John Connolly, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(12):1145-1152. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830120085015.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  While previous studies have shown an increased rate of suicidal behavior in the relatives of suicide victims, it is unclear if this is attributable merely to increased familial rates of psychiatric disorders. Therefore, we conducted a family study of adolescent suicide victims (suicide probands) and community control probands (controls) to determine if the rates of suicidal behavior were higher in the relatives of adolescent suicide probands even after adjusting for differences in the familial rates of psychiatric disorders.

Method:  The relatives of 58 adolescent suicide probands and 55 demographically similar controls underwent assessment for Axis I and II psychiatric disorders, lifetime history of aggression, and history of suicidal behavior (attempts and completions) using a combination of family study and family history approaches.

Results:  The rate of suicide attempts was increased in the first-degree relatives of suicide probands compared with the relatives of controls, even after adjusting for differences in rates of proband and familial Axis I and II disorders (odds ratio, 4.3; 95% confidence intervals, 1.1-16.6). On the other hand, the excess rate of suicidal ideation found in the relatives of suicide probands was explained by increased familial rates of psychiatric disorders. Among suicide probands, higher ratings of aggression were associated with higher familial loading for suicide attempts.

Conclusions:  Liability to suicidal behavior might be familially transmitted as a trait independent of Axis I and II disorders. The transmitted spectrum of suicidal behavior includes attempts and completions, but not ideation, and the transmission of suicidal behavior and aggression are related.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.