The Relationship Between Childhood Physical Abuse and Suicidality Among Depressed Women: Results From a Community Sample
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the distribution and determinants of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a community sample of women with major depressive disorder. Variables of interest included childhood physical abuse, individual and familial psychiatric history, and sociodemographic factors. METHOD: Women (age 15 to 64 years) from a community sample who met criteria for major depressive disorder (lifetime prevalence) (N=347) were assessed with a modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Childhood physical abuse history was collected through a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Approximately one-quarter (23.9%, N=83) of the women with major depressive disorder reported that they had made a suicide attempt, and more than half (55.6%, N=193) had experienced suicidal ideation. A history of suicide attempt was most strongly related to the number of comorbid psychiatric disorders (odds ratio=2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.21-3.43). Suicidal ideation was most strongly associated with a history of childhood physical abuse (odds ratio=2.77, 95% CI=1.26-6.12). CONCLUSIONS: Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were reported frequently by women with a history of major depressive disorder. Correlates for suicide attempts showed some differences from those for ideation. This finding is of clinical importance, since it relates to the identification of individuals at risk for suicidal behavior.
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