This study aimed to identify vulnerability and protective factors for suicidal histories among adults experiencing psychological trauma.
Adults seeking treatment for psychological trauma (N = 113) completed self-report questionnaires measuring childhood trauma history, self-concept, relational functioning, emotion regulation, living arrangements, employment status, marital status, and suicidal history. Independent samples t-tests were used to determine variables on which those with and without suicidal histories differed significantly. These variables were then entered into a binary logistic regression model to identify factors which independently distinguished between those with and without a suicidal history.
Univariate differences were found for childhood emotional abuse (CEA), childhood emotional neglect (CEN), emotion deactivation, and employment status, with those in the suicidal history group scoring higher on all of these. CEA (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.01–1.27) and employment status (OR = 4.12, 95% CI = 1.23–13.73) remained significant predictors of suicidal status in the multivariable logistic regression.
CEA was an independent vulnerability factor for suicidal risk, highlighting the need for clinicians to assess exposure to such trauma in those presenting with proximal traumatic experiences. Being in employment was an independent protective factor against suicidal risk, highlighting the importance of social buffers or networks when faced with traumatic situations.