Background: Child abuse is defined as any act or omission which causes physical or psychological harassment and lasting effects on children. Injuries resulting from child abuse are widespread, and this trauma can lead to psychological problems in adulthood.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between a history of child abuse and suicide attempts.
Methods: In this case-control and retrospective study, patients admitted in 2016 to the toxicity emergency center in Yazd city, Iran, with symptoms of attempted suicide and patients of other conditions were recruited. Participants in the control and case groups were matched for age, gender, marital status, and place of residence. Each patient was given a questionnaire to collect information on demographics, history of suicide attempt or suicide in other members of the family, and history of child abuse (self-report scale) which investigated five aspects of childhood abuse (sexual, physical, neglect, lack of nutrition, and emotional neglect).
Results: The chi-square test and t test were used in the analysis. Mean severity rates of physical, sexual, neglect, nutrition, and emotional child abuse were 8.49, 6.42, 10.4, 6.43, and 9.62, respectively, for the case group and 7.89, 5.52, 7.88, 5.92, and 8.52, respectively, for the control group.
Conclusion: Statistical analysis revealed that except for nutritional abuse cases, the incidence rates of all other aspects of child abuse were significantly higher among cases than in the control group. The results of this study showed that a history of child abuse, especially sexual and emotional types, are correlated with the incidence of attempted suicide.