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The association between parental attempted suicide and child abuse was investigated in 114 mothers with children aged five years and under, referred to a general hospital following suicide attempts. The risk was greatly increased in the attempted suicide mothers, compared with both similar mothers at risk for depression and general population control mothers; well-documented risk of child abuse was identified in 29.8% of those who attempted suicide. No major differences were found between the attempted suicide mothers whose children were at risk and those whose children were not at risk. During the general hospital assessment of mothers with young children who attempt suicide, careful enquiry concerning the relationship with the children is essential.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





486 - 489


Adult, Child Abuse, Child, Preschool, Depressive Disorder, Humans, Male, Mother-Child Relations, Risk, Suicide, Attempted