Children of depressed mothers at higher risk of suicide: Study

A new study has found that children of mothers who are depressed tend to be at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts and attempting it as adolescents. The findings of the study were published in the journal 'Development and Psychopathology'. The research suggested that this link may be explained by loneliness, potentially opening new ways for youth suicide prevention. The resulting information gave a measure of depressive symptoms - not a clinical diagnosis of depression. Adolescents completed self-reports about suicidal thoughts and attempts at age 13-20 years. Children of mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms were approximately fifteen per cent more likely to have suicidal thoughts and/or attempt suicide as adolescents compared to children of mothers with lower levels of depressive symptoms. Further studies are needed to quantify to what extent reducing feelings of loneliness translates into a decrease in suicide risk for those adolescents.