Additive impact of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse on suicide attempts among low-income African American women

Page L. Anderson, Jasmin A. Tiro, Ann Webb Price, Marnette A. Bender, Nadine J. Kaslow

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Abstract

This study examines the association between exposures to multiple forms of childhood abuse (emotional, physical, sexual) and adult suicidal behavior in a sample of low-income, African American women. We hypothesized a linear relation between childhood abuse and risk for making a suicide attempt, such that the more forms of childhood abuse to which a woman was exposed, the greater her risk would be to make a suicide attempt. Logistic regression analyses revealed that, compared to women who did not report any experiences of childhood abuse, women who experienced one, two, or three forms of abuse were 1.83, 2.29, or 7.75 times more likely to attempt suicide, respectively (all statistically significant). Furthermore, compared to women who reported one or two types of abuse, women who reported all three types of abuse were statistically more likely to attempt suicide. These findings have implications for clinicians working with African American women who report either childhood abuse or exhibit suicidal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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