Year: 1997 Source: Psychological Bulletin, v.121, no.2, (March 1997), p.246-298 SIEC No: 19970859

The empirical support for the claims that various aspects of family dysfunction are risk factors for completed suicide or suicidal symptoms in childhood or adolescence is reviewed. There is consistent evidence a history of physical or sexual abuse is a risk factor & some evidence for other risk factors, including poor family or parent-child communications, loss of caregiver to separation or death, & psychopathology in first-degree relatives. However, the researchers of the vast majority of studies did not attend to whether the putative risk factors preceded the development of suicidal symptoms; thus, most of the claims rgarding family risk factors are not justified by their research designs & findings. (262 refs.)