Teen suicide linked to later partner abuse

June 15, 2010 at 1:49 AM
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CORVALLIS, Ore., June 15 (UPI) -- Young men who attempted suicide as teens were found to be more aggressive and more likely to be abusive toward their partners, U.S. researchers said.

David Kerr and Deborah Capaldi of the Oregon State University in Corvallis suggested for some men violence may be related to a history of impulsive aggression that includes self-harm.

"The study began when these men were kids, before anyone knew who was going to become violent," study Kerr said in a statement. "That is quite different from research that starts with violent men, or women from a domestic violence shelter, and tries to look back in time for explanations."

Kerr, Capaldi and colleagues looked at data for 153 males from higher-crime neighborhoods -- assessed yearly from ages 10-32 -- as well as their romantic partners when the men were ages 18-25.

The study, published in Psychological Medicine, found 58 percent of youth who attempted suicide went on to injure a partner, vs. 23 percent of young men who did not attempt suicide and were not violent toward partners later in life.

After controlling for factors linked to violence -- such as aggression and substance use -- young men who attempted suicide were still found to be more aggressive toward their partners.

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