Adults who have attempted suicide leave a trail of it in their offsprings too, according to an empirical study of 701 children of 334 parents. The researchers children of 191 parents who had a record of suicide bid are five times prone to have the suicidal behaviour than others whose parents have not made such bid in their lifetime.
The researchers found a direct effect of a parent’s suicide attempt on a child, in their comparative study after taking into account a history of previous suicide attempt by the offspring and a familial transmission of mood disorder.
The study has not only confirmed that suicidal behaviour can run in families but for the first time identified the pathways by which suicidal behaviour is transmitted in the family tree with depression and a feeling of worthlessness.
“Impulsive aggression was an important precursor of mood disorder and could be targeted in interventions designed to prevent youth at high familial risk from making a suicide attempt,” said David Brent from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, who led the research.
The researchers have studied 701 children in the age group of 10 and 50 years of 334 parents with mood disorders and past history of attempting suicide. The children were studied for the research for an average of nearly six years and found that the children of 191 or 57.2% parents who had past record of suicidal behaviour reflected similar behaviour.
In fact, of the 701 children, 44 or 6.3 percent had made a suicide attempt before they are studied for the research and 29 or 4.1 percent attempted suicide during the study period of six years.The study has been published online in JAMA. Psychiatry.