Childhood Maltreatment, Pathological Personality Dimensions, and Suicide Risk in Young Adults

Giorgio Falgares, Giovanna Manna, Osmano Oasi, Daniel C. Kopala-Sibley, Maria C. Verrocchio, Daniela Marchetti, Pasquale Musso, Sandro De Santis, Sandro De Santis

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Abstract

Several studies have demonstrated that child maltreatment (psychological, physical,and sexual abuse, and neglect) may be a significant factor in the development ofpathological personality traits that increase the risk for suicidal ideation and behaviorfrom adolescence to adulthood. Currently, the challenge is to understand how differentforms of early negative experiences render an individual prone to develop specificpersonality traits and, in turn, be more vulnerable to suicide risk. To understand therelationship between childhood maltreatment and personality dimensions in suiciderisk, our study aims to explore the role of self-criticism and dependency, two differentpathological personality traits, as potential mediators of the link between differenttypes of childhood maltreatment and suicide risk in young adults. For this purpose,306 students from three Italian public universities were recruited. We used the Italianversion of the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q) toassess experiences of lack of care by parents (i.e., antipathy and neglect) as wellas psychological and physical abuse before the age of 17 years. The DepressiveExperiences Questionnaire (DEQ) was used to assess the personality dimensions ofself-criticism and dependency, and the Suicide History Self-Rating Screening Scale wasadministered to assess suicide risk. Results revealed that lack of care and psychologicalabuse were significantly associated with suicide risk and this association was partiallymediated by the maladaptive personality dimension of self-criticism. These findingssuggest that the combined effect of specific forms of dysfunctional parental behaviorduring childhood and the development of rigid and dysfunctional negative personalitytraits may increase the risk for suicidal ideation and behavior during adulthood
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine14
RivistaFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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Falgares, G., Manna, G., Oasi, O., Kopala-Sibley, D. C., Verrocchio, M. C., Marchetti, D., Musso, P., De Santis, S., & De Santis, S. (2018). Childhood Maltreatment, Pathological Personality Dimensions, and Suicide Risk in Young Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.