What about trauma? Accounting for trauma exposure and symptoms in the risk of suicide among adolescents who have been adopted.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Research suggests that individuals who have been adopted are at increased risk for suicidal behaviors, but this research does not account for the role of trauma. OBJECTIVES: The study provided rates of trauma exposure among individuals who were adopted with child welfare involvement. The study also examined risk of suicidal ideation (SI) and behaviors (SB) based on adoption status, first as bivariate associations and then in context of trauma exposure and symptoms. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Participants in the LONGSCAN study were recruited at multiple US sites based on various risk factors for maltreatment. The current study included only those individuals with adequate information at key timepoints (n = 894), 106 (11.9%) of whom were adopted. METHODS: Measures were collected at multiple timepoints, including caregiver-report, self-report, and review of child welfare records. Data were analyzed through logistic regression and descriptive statistics. RESULTS: High rates of potentially traumatic experiences were found among individuals who were adopted (over 93%). The bivariate logistic regression replicated previous findings that adolescents who were adopted had increased likelihood of endorsing SI (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.27-3.60, p = .004) and SB (OR 2.40, 95% CI 1.24-4.63, p = .009) compared to non-adopted peers. However, when polytrauma and traumatic stress symptoms were added to the model, adoption was no longer a significant predictor for SI (OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.70-2.60, p = .369) or SB (OR 1.46, 95% CI 0.68-3.13, p = .332). CONCLUSIONS: Although much remains to be explored about the association between adoption and risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, the current study indicates that traumatic stress plays a critical role.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Murray, KJ; Williams, BM; Tunno, AM; Shanahan, M; Sullivan, KM

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 130 / Pt 2

Start / End Page

  • 105185 -

PubMed ID

  • 34218933

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7757

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105185


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England