The effect of suicide attempts on suicide ideation by family members in fast developed country, Korea

Sung In Jang, Hong Chul Bae, Jaeyong Shin, Suk Yong Jang, Seri Hong, Kyu Tae Han, Eun Cheol Park

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Introduction Suicide is a leading cause of death globally and is one of the most exigent health problems, especially in Korea. Individuals think about suicide first before they attempt and possibly complete suicide. If attempted or completed suicide affects suicidal ideation by family members or close individuals, suicide could spread like an infectious disease. We hypothesized that a suicide attempt by a family member could affect suicidal ideation. We analyzed the association between suicidal ideation and previous suicide attempts by family members. Methods This study used data from the fourth and fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2012). The independent variable of interest is the existence of a cohabitating family member who previously attempted suicide. The dependent variable is self-reported suicide ideation during past year. The data analysis was conducted using the chi-square test and survey logistic regression. Results Suicidal ideation was reported by 14.3% of the total study population (9.5% of males, 19.0% of females), by 23.6% (22.8% of males, 31.3% of females) of individuals with a family member who attempted suicide, and by 14.1% (9.3% of males, 19.9% of females) of individuals without a family member who attempted suicide. Individuals with a family member who attempted suicide had increased odds of suicidal ideation compared with those without a family member who attempted suicide (odds ratio = 2.09, 95% CI 1.48-2.49, p < 0.001). Conclusions To prevent suicide spreading like an infectious disease, government and policy makers should give thought and consideration to individuals with a family member who attempts suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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