Child maltreatment and suicidal ideation: The role of PTSD symptoms and alcohol misuse


Journal Article

© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Child maltreatment is a well-established risk factor for suicide attempts, but research on mechanisms accounting for this relationship is needed. The current study examined the indirect effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and alcohol misuse in the relationship between childhood maltreatment and suicidal ideation. In the current study, 336 participants (Mage = 22.81, SD = 8.84; 70.2% female) completed an online survey. The indirect effect of childhood maltreatment on suicidal ideation via PTSD symptoms was statistically significant (β =.21, p <.001) but the indirect effect via alcohol misuse was not (β =.01, p =.116). Severity of alcohol misuse (b =.13, p =.009) was positively related to suicidal ideation. These findings indicate that PTSD symptoms are one mechanism through which childhood maltreatment increases risk of suicidal ideation. Alcohol misuse is also a direct risk factor for suicidal ideation, but this effect is independent of the effects of childhood maltreatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Newins, AR; Wilson, LC; Kimbrel, NA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2019

Published In

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1936-4733

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1046-1310

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12144-019-00436-1

Citation Source

  • Scopus