Suicidal ideation among 8-year-olds who are maltreated and at risk: Findings from the LONGSCAN studies

Richard Thompson, Ernestine Briggs, Diana J. English, Howard Dubowitz, Li Ching Lee, Kate Brody, Mark D. Everson, Wanda M. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Suicidal ideation was examined among 1,051 8-year-old children identified as maltreated or at risk for maltreatment. Of these children, 9.9% reported suicidal ideation. Many variables, including maltreatment, had bivariate associations with suicidal ideation. Seventy of physical abuse, chronicity of maltreatment, and the presence of multiple types of maltreatment strongly predicted suicidal ideation. In multivariate analyses of the domains of proximity, only ethnic background remained significant among demographic variables, only witnessed violence and maltreatment remained significant among family or contextual variables, and only child psychological distress, substance use, and poor social problem solving remained significant among child variables. The effects of ethnicity, maltreatment, and witnessed violence on suicidal ideation were mediated by child functioning. There were few interactions between maltreatment and other factors to predict suicidal ideation. Children who are maltreated and those exposed to community and domestic violence are at increased risk of suicidal ideation, even by age 8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalChild maltreatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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