Childhood maltreatment increases the risk of suicide attempt in schizophrenia

Ahmed N. Hassan, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Vincenzo De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives In this study, we evaluated the effect of several types of childhood trauma on lifetime suicide attempt in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Methods We interviewed 361 participants with schizophrenia. Childhood trauma was collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Suicidal attempts were confirmed using subjective and objective validated scales. We applied an observational study design using propensity scores to match individuals with history of childhood trauma to those without past history of trauma. We used logistic regression models to estimate the effect of each type of childhood maltreatment on suicidal attempts controlling for demographics and known suicidal risk factors. Results In our sample, 39.1% of the subjects had lifetime suicide attempt. After matching the two groups and controlling for demographics and clinical confounders, total trauma score and the majority of childhood maltreatment subtypes predicted suicide attempt (odds ratios ranged from 1.74 to 2.49 with p-values ranging from 0.001 to 0.02). Physical neglect was not significantly associated with suicide attempt in our sample (p = 0.94). Conclusion Childhood maltreatment is confirmed to be a strong independent risk factor for suicidal attempts in schizophrenia. The risk is probably aggravated by the development of depressive symptoms and feeling of hopelessness in the adult life. Early screening and modified psychosocial treatment are recommended for psychotic individuals with trauma history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • CTQ
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Propensity score
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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