Despite literature suggesting a relationship between child maltreatment and suicidal ideation, few studies have examined the prospective course of this relationship. The current study examined this relationship in a sample of 682 community youth who were followed over the course of 3 years. Repeated measures of suicidal ideation, emotional maltreatment, and depressive symptom severity were examined in multi-wave path analysis models. Overall, results suggest that emotional maltreatment over time contributes uniquely to the prospective prediction of suicidal ideation, even when controlling for age, previous suicidal ideation, biological sex, and depression symptom severity. Unlike previous studies that have only measured emotional maltreatment at one-time point, the current study demonstrates that emotional maltreatment contributes unique risk to suicidal ideation prospectively among youth. Results speak to the importance of examining emotional maltreatment and suicidal ideation within prospective models of risk and suggest that emotional maltreatment is a robust predictor of suicidal ideation, over and above history of suicidal ideation and depression.
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