Several studies have demonstrated that child maltreatment (psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, and neglect) may be a significant factor in the development of pathological personality traits that increase the risk for suicidal ideation and behavior from adolescence to adulthood. Currently, the challenge is to understand how different forms of early negative experiences render an individual prone to develop specific personality traits and, in turn, be more vulnerable to suicide risk. To understand the relationship between childhood maltreatment and personality dimensions in suicide risk, our study aims to explore the role of self-criticism and dependency, two different pathological personality traits, as potential mediators of the link between different types of childhood maltreatment and suicide risk in young adults. For this purpose, 306 students from three Italian public universities were recruited. We used the Italian version of the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q) to assess experiences of lack of care by parents (i.e., antipathy and neglect) as well as psychological and physical abuse before the age of 17 years. The Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ) was used to assess the personality dimensions of self-criticism and dependency, and the Suicide History Self-Rating Screening Scale was administered to assess suicide risk. Results revealed that lack of care and psychological abuse were significantly associated with suicide risk and this association was partially mediated by the maladaptive personality dimension of self-criticism. These findings suggest that the combined effect of specific forms of dysfunctional parental behavior during childhood and the development of rigid and dysfunctional negative personality traits may increase the risk for suicidal ideation and behavior during adulthood.
|Title of host publication||THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUICIDE: FROM RESEARCH UNDERSTANDINGS TO INTERVENTION AND TREATMENT|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|