Family history of suicide and personality

Marco Sarchiapone, Vladimir Carli, Luigi Janiri, Marco Marchetti, Caterina Cesaro, Alec Roy
Archives of Suicide Research: Official Journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research 2009, 13 (2): 178-84
The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of family history of suicidal behaviour on psychopathlogical features of inmates. A sample of 1,179 prisoners had a psychiatric interview including the Brown-Goodwin Assessment for Lifetime History of Aggression (BGLHA). Prisoners completed the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS), Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI), and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ). Prisoners with a family history of suicide were compared with prisoners without a family history of suicide on clinical and personality variables. Seventy of the 1,179 prisoners (5.9%) had a family history of suicide. Significantly more FHS positive prisoners had attempted suicide compared with FHS negative prisoners (36% vs. 12%, P < 0.0001). Significantly more FHS positive prisoners had a previous history of convictions, a history of juvenile convictions, and had exhibited aggressive behavior in jail. FHS positive prisoners had significantly higher aggression scores on the BGLHA, higher hostility scores on the BDHI, higher impulsivity scores on the BIS, and higher neuroticism scores on the EPQ. A family history of suicide may be a useful clinical indicator that a prisoner is at increased risk for suicidal behaviour and may have problems with impulsive-aggression.

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