Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changing Residences Associated With Increased Risk Of Suicidal Behavior Among Children

Date:
June 2, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Danish children who move frequently appear to have an increased risk of attempted or completed suicide between ages 11 and 17, according to a new report.

Danish children who move frequently appear to have an increased risk of attempted or completed suicide between ages 11 and 17, according to a new report.

Changes of residence occur frequently in modern society, and about half of children move at least once before their 10th birthday, according to background information in the article. Moving frequently is a burden to most people, including children, who typically move passively because of a parent's decision. "Whatever inspires the move, such experiences during childhood may be traumatic or psychologically distressing and, therefore, may affect a child's physical, mental, social and emotional well-being," the authors write. "Some children have difficulties coping with the change and may exhibit their distress as suicidal behavior, the last-resort response to the hardship and stress."

Ping Qin, Ph.D., M.D., and colleagues at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, use data from Danish national registries to identify all children born between 1978 and 1995. Between 11 and 17 years of age, 4,160 of these children attempted suicide based on hospital records, and 79 completed suicide. For each suicide attempt or completion, the researchers selected 30 control children who were the same sex and age.

Compared with the control children, those who attempted suicide were more likely to have changed residences frequently—55.2 percent of suicidal children and 32 percent of controls had moved more than three times, and 7.4 percent had moved more than 10 times (compared with 1.9 percent of controls). Frequent moves were also more common among children who completed suicide.

A dose-response relationship was observed for both attempted and completed suicide, meaning that the more often a child changed addresses, the more likely he or she was to have attempted or completed suicide. The associations remained significant after the researchers controlled for other factors, such as birthplace and parents' mental health.

"The breakdown of connections with peers, discontinuation of group activities, distress and worries related to the new environment are potentially psychologically distressing events for young children. Frequent exposures to these events can be stressful and confusing and may affect their psychosocial well-being, thus increasing their intention toward ending their life if they are unable to cope," the authors write. In addition, moving is stressful for parents and may result in their inability to attend to their children's emotional needs. "Children may feel ignored and have no one to communicate with. A suicide attempt may, to some extent, express the need for more attention from their parents."

"Although we could not distinguish whether frequent change of residence was a causal risk factor or merely an intermediate variable of other risk factors for suicidal behavior, the findings from this study suggest the importance of stability on children's psychosocial well-being," they conclude. The results raise questions for parents who move frequently, such as whether they have to move, how to minimize the effects of necessary moves on children and how to further involve children in the moving process. "Last, but not least, parents, caretakers and schools should be aware of the psychosocial needs of children who have recently moved and be ready to help them resolve their distress together or through professional assistance."

This study was funded by the Danish Health Insurance Foundation, the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qin et al. Frequent Change of Residence and Risk of Attempted and Completed Suicide Among Children and Adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2009; 66 (6): 628 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.20

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Changing Residences Associated With Increased Risk Of Suicidal Behavior Among Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601182816.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, June 2). Changing Residences Associated With Increased Risk Of Suicidal Behavior Among Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601182816.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Changing Residences Associated With Increased Risk Of Suicidal Behavior Among Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601182816.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins