Losing a parent to suicide makes children more likely to die by suicide themselves and increases their risk of developing a range of major psychiatric disorders, according to a study led by John Hopkins Children’s Center that is believed to be the largest one to date on the subject.
A report on the findings will appear in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
How and when the parent died strongly influenced their child’s risk, the researchers report. And because the findings show that parental suicide affects children and teens more profoundly than young adults, it is likely that environmental and developmental factors, as well as genetic ones, are at work in next-generation risk, the scientists say. (…)