Year: 2020 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders. (2020). 276, 667-677. SIEC No: 20200792

Background:Previous studies demonstrated positive relations between various forms of maltreatment and sui-cidal ideation in youth; however, mechanisms underlying these relationships are not well understood. Wepropose that the experience of maltreatment in childhood may lead to high levels of generalized guilt and shame,resulting in an increase of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts in adolescents. The aim of the currentstudy was to test our model of relations between these constructs using path analysis.Methods:112 inpatient adolescents aged 12-17 years completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire to mea-sure various types of maltreatment, the Personal Feelings Questionnaire to evaluate generalized guilt and shame,the Beck Depression Inventory-II to assess depressive symptoms, and the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scaleto assess suicidal ideation.Results:Findings partly confirmed the theoretical model. Indirect positive effects of sexual and emotional abuse,as well as emotional and physical neglect on suicidal ideation via generalized self-conscious emotion and/ordepression were demonstrated. In contrast to our predictions, indirect negative effects of physical abuse onsuicidal thoughts via generalized guilt and shame and depression were found.Limitations:Sample characterized by predominately Caucasian inpatient adolescents fromfinancially stable andwell-educated environments, over-reliance on self-report measures and the lack of a longitudinal design weremain limitations of the study.Conclusions:The study provides novel information on the potential mechanisms underlying the association between childhood maltreatment and suicidal ideation in adolescents. Generalized guilt and/or shame could bepossible targets for interventions for victims of some forms of maltreatment to reduce depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.