Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Interpersonal Violence. (2023). 38(15-16), 9189-9214. doi: 10.1177/08862605231163238. SIEC No: 20231592
This study examines the overlap between indirect exposure to forms of interpersonal violence and suicidal behavior, and the impact of the co-occurrence of these exposures on indicators of depressed mood and substance use among adolescents. Participants were a national sample of 3,917 youth aged 14-15 years, recruited online between June 2018 and March 2020, including an oversample of sexual and gender minority youth. Eight in ten (81.3%) youth reported exposure to indirect interpersonal violence and/or suicidal behavior in their lifetimes: 39.5% reported only interpersonal violence exposure, 5.9% only suicidal behavior exposure, and 35.9% reported both. Youth who reported exposure to interpersonal violence were almost three times more likely (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.78, p < .001) to also report suicidal behavior exposure. Compared with youth having no indirect violence exposure, those with only interpersonal violence exposure were 2.25 times more likely (p < .001), those with only exposure to suicidal behavior 2.93 times more likely (p < .001), and those with both were 5.63 times more likely to report recent depressed mood. The unadjusted odds of any substance use was significantly elevated for each type of indirect violence exposure, with the highest odds seen among youth with dual interpersonal violence and suicide exposure (OR = 4.87, p < .001). For both outcomes, significant findings remained but were attenuated after adjusting for demographic characteristics, non-victimization adversity exposure, and cumulative direct victimization. Findings suggest that the combination of exposure to interpersonal violence and suicidal behavior appears to be particularly impactful. Results highlight that assessment of trauma exposure among adolescents needs to be more comprehensive and include not only direct and indirect interpersonal violence, but also knowledge of other people's suicidal thoughts and behaviors