The independent effects of child sexual abuse and impulsivity on lifetime suicide attempts among female patients

Federico M. Daray, Sasha M. Rojas, Ana J. Bridges, Christal L. Badour, Leandro Grendas, Demián Rodante, Soledad Puppo, Federico Rebok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a causal agent in many negative adulthood outcomes, including the risk for life-threatening behaviors such as suicide ideation and suicide attempts. Traumatic events such as CSA may pose risk in the healthy development of cognitive and emotional functioning during childhood. In fact, high impulsivity, a risk factor for suicidal behavior, is characteristic of CSA victims. The current study aims to understand the relations among CSA, impulsivity, and frequency of lifetime suicide attempts among a female patient sample admitted for suicidal behavior. Participants included 177 female patients between the ages of 18 and 63 years admitted at two hospitals in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Number of previous suicide attempts and CSA were assessed via structured interviews, while impulsivity was assessed with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). A model of structural equations was employed to evaluate the role of impulsivity in the relation between CSA and suicide attempts. CSA (β = .18, p < .05) and impulsivity (β = .24, p < .05) were associated with the number of previous suicide attempts. However, impulsivity was not significantly associated with CSA (β = .09, p > .05). CSA and impulsivity are independently associated with lifetime suicide attempts among female patients with recent suicidal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Impulsivity
  • Suicide attempts
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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