Adult Mental Health Outcomes of Preterm Survivors Experiencing Suicidal Ideation in Adolescence
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The aim of this study was to examine the link between suicidal ideation in adolescence (age 12-16) and symptoms of psychopathology in adulthood (age 22-26) in a birth cohort of extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000g) survivors and matched normal birth weight (NBW; >2500 g) control participants. This study utilized data from a longitudinally followed cohort of 129 ELBW survivors and 116 NBW individuals born in Ontario, Canada between the years 1977 and 1982. Participants self-reported suicidal ideation via questionnaire during adolescence (age 12-16). The depression, anxiety, inattention, and antisocial behavior subscales of the Young Adult Self Report (YASR) were used to assess symptoms of psychopathology during adulthood (age 22-26). Associations were examined in each birth weight group separately prior to and after adjustment for covariates. Before and after adjustment for covariates, suicidal ideation in NBW adolescents predicted symptoms of depression, anxiety, inattention, and antisociality in adulthood. Suicidal ideation among ELBW adolescents predicted inattentive and depressive symptoms, and antisocial behavior only before adjustment. Adolescents born at NBW who endorse suicidal ideation are at elevated risk for developing symptoms of anxiety, depression, inattention, and antisocial problems in adulthood even after adjustment. Among ELBW survivors, the risks were lower and appear to be due to confounding factors.
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