Parent and child psychopathology and suicide attempts among children of parents with alcohol use disorder.

Published

Journal Article

Parents with psychopathology such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) that confers risk for suicide attempt (SA) may have children who are more likely to develop such psychopathology and to attempt suicide, suggesting that risk may be "transmitted" from parents to children. We examined this phenomenon during the transition from childhood to adolescence, when risk for SA increases dramatically. A cohort of 418 children were examined at average age 9.4 (range 7-14) years at enrollment (Time 1, childhood) and approximately 5 years later, prior to reaching age 18 (Time 2, adolescence). One or both biological parents, oversampled for AUD, were also interviewed. Structural equation models (SEM) examined father-child, mother-child, and either/both parent-child associations. The primary outcome was SA over follow-up among offspring, assessed at Time 2. As hypothesized, parental antisocial personality disorder predicted conduct disorder symptoms in offspring both during childhood and adolescence (parent-child model, father-child model) and maternal AUD predicted conduct disorder symptoms during childhood (mother-child model). However, we did not find evidence to support transmission of depression from parents to offspring either during childhood or adolescence, and parent psychopathology did not show statistically significant associations with SA during adolescence. In conclusion, we conducted a rare study of parent-to-child "transmission" of risk for SA that used a prospective research design, included diagnostic interviews with both parents and offspring, and examined the transition from childhood to adolescence, and the first such study in children of parents with AUD. Results provided mixed support for hypothesized parent-child associations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Conner, KR; Bossarte, RM; Lu, N; Kaukeinen, K; Chan, G; Wyman, P; Tu, XM; Goldston, DB; Houston, RJ; Bucholz, KK; Hesselbrock, VM

Published Date

  • 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 117 - 130

PubMed ID

  • 24716789

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24716789

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1543-6136

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13811118.2013.826154

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England