Franklin James Cook

78% of Male Suicides/Attempts Showed Psych Problems at Age 8

In Research on April 6, 2009 at 10:14 pm

ORIGINAL REPORT — According to a report in Science Daily, in a study involving more than 5,000 subjects, a high proportion of men who, by their mid-20s, died by suicide or attempted suicide and were hospitalized had psychiatric problems when assessed at the age of 8, while the same was not true of women.

Andre Sourander, M.D. … and colleagues studied 5,302 Finnish individuals born in 1981. Eight years later, information about psychiatric conditions, school performance and family demographics was gathered from children, parents and teachers. Participants were then tracked through national registers through 2005.

Between ages 8 and 24, 40 participants died, including 24 males and 16 females. Of those, 13 males and two females died from suicide. A total of 54 males and females (1 percent) either completed suicide or made a suicide attempt serious enough to result in hospitalization.

Of the 27 males who either seriously attempted or completed suicide, 78 percent screened positive for psychiatric conditions at age 8, compared with 11 percent of 27 females who had serious or completed suicide attempts.

The study is published in the current issue of Archives of General Psychiatry (abstract).

It also showed a number of other indicators at age 8 associated with suicide and life-threatening attempts in males later in life, namely not living “in a family with two biological parents, [having] psychological problems … reported by a teacher, or [having] conduct, hyperactive or emotional problems.” Again, the same was not true for females.

Interestingly, however, when it comes to depression, the study showed that “depression at age 8 was not associated with suicide attempts for either sex.”

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