Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-564cf476b6-s5ssh Total loading time: 0.475 Render date: 2021-06-22T11:00:03.772Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Common genetic contributions to high-risk trauma exposure and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2018

Leah S. Richmond-Rakerd
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Timothy J. Trull
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Ian R. Gizer
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Kristin McLaughlin
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Emily M. Scheiderer
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA Department of Clinical and Counselling Psychology, NHS Grampian, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, UK
Elliot C. Nelson
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
Arpana Agrawal
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
Michael T. Lynskey
Affiliation:
National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK
Pamela A.F. Madden
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
Andrew C. Heath
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
Dixie J. Statham
Affiliation:
University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Nicholas G. Martin
Affiliation:
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

Prior research has documented shared heritable contributions to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal ideation (SI) as well as NSSI and suicide attempt (SA). In addition, trauma exposure has been implicated in risk for NSSI and suicide. Genetically informative studies are needed to determine common sources of liability to all three self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, and to clarify the nature of their associations with traumatic experiences.

Methods

Multivariate biometric modeling was conducted using data from 9526 twins [59% female, mean age = 31.7 years (range 24–42)] from two cohorts of the Australian Twin Registry, some of whom also participated in the Childhood Trauma Study and the Nicotine Addiction Genetics Project.

Results

The prevalences of high-risk trauma exposure (HRT), NSSI, SI, and SA were 24.4, 5.6, 27.1, and 4.6%, respectively. All phenotypes were moderately to highly correlated. Genetic influences on self-injurious thoughts and behaviors and HRT were significant and highly correlated among men [rG = 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.37–0.81)] and women [rG = 0.56 (0.49–0.63)]. Unique environmental influences were modestly correlated in women [rE = 0.23 (0.01–0.45)], suggesting that high-risk trauma may confer some direct risk for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors among females.

Conclusions

Individuals engaging in NSSI are at increased risk for suicide, and common heritable factors contribute to these associations. Preventing trauma exposure may help to mitigate risk for self-harm and suicide, either directly or indirectly via reductions in liability to psychopathology more broadly. In addition, targeting pre-existing vulnerability factors could significantly reduce risk for life-threatening behaviors among those who have experienced trauma.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Afifi, TO, et al. (2010) The role of genes and environment on trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: a review of twin studies. Clinical Psychology Review 30, 101112.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
American Psychiatric Association (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edn., Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
Andover, MS and Gibb, BE (2010) Non-suicidal self-injury, attempted suicide, and suicidal intent among psychiatric inpatients. Psychiatry Research 178, 101105.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Asparouhov, T and Muthén, BO (2010) Weighted least squares estimation with missing data. Retrieved from http://www.statmodel.com/download/GstrucMissingRevision.pdfGoogle Scholar
Bentley, K, et al. (2015) The association between nonsuicidal self-injury and the emotional disorders: a meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review 37, 7288.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bresin, K and Schoenleber, M (2015) Gender differences in the prevalence of nonsuicidal self-injury: a meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 38, 5564.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bresin, K, Carter, DL and Gordon, KH (2013) The relationship between trait impulsivity, negative affective states, and urge for nonsuicidal self-injury: a daily diary study. Psychiatry Research 205, 227231.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brown, RC, et al. (2014) Trauma exposure and axis I psychopathology: a co-twin control analysis in Norwegian young adults. Psychological Trauma 6, 652660.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bucholz, KK, et al. (1994) A new, semi-structured psychiatric interview for use in genetic linkage studies: a report on the reliability of the SSAGA. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 55, 149158.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cox, LJ, et al. (2012) Familial and individual correlates of nonsuicidal self-injury in the offspring of mood-disordered parents. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 73, 813820.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Darke, S, et al. (2010) Attempted suicide, self-harm, and violent victimization among regular illicit drug users. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 40, 587596.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Devries, KM, et al. (2014) Childhood sexual abuse and suicidal behavior: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics 133, e1331e1344.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dinwiddie, S, et al. (2000) Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study. Psychological Medicine 30, 4152.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Durrett, C (2006) A Behavior Genetic Study of Self-Harm, Suicidality, and Personality in African American and White Women [Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation]. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri.Google Scholar
Dutta, R, et al. (2017) Genetic and other risk factors for suicidal ideation and the relationship with depression. Psychological Medicine 47, 24382449.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dworkin, ER, et al. (2017) Sexual assault victimization and psychopathology: a review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 56, 6581.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Edwards, AC, et al. (2011) A population-based twin study of the genetic and environmental relationship of major depression, regular tobacco use and nicotine dependence. Psychological Medicine 41, 395405.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ehlers, CL, et al. (2013) Lifetime history of traumatic events in an American Indian community sample: heritability and relation to substance dependence, affective disorder, conduct disorder and PTSD. Journal of Psychiatric Research 47, 155161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fergusson, DM, et al. (1989) The Christchurch Child Development Study: a review of epidemiological findings. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 3, 302325.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fisher, HL, et al. (2012) Bullying victimisation and risk of self harm in early adolescence: longitudinal cohort study. British Medical Journal 344, e2683.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Franklin, JC, Hessel, ET and Prinstein, MJ (2011) Clarifying the role of pain tolerance in suicidal capability. Psychiatry Research 189, 362367.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Galfalvy, H, et al. (2015) A genome-wide association study of suicidal behavior. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics 168, 557563.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Glenn, CR, et al. (2017) Understanding suicide risk within the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework: insights, challenges, and future research considerations. Clinical Psychological Science 5, 568592.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Guertin, T, et al. (2001) Self-mutilative behavior in adolescents who attempt suicide by overdose. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 40, 10621069.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hamza, CA, Willoughby, T and Heffer, T (2015) Impulsivity and nonsuicidal self-injury: a review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychological Science 38, 1324.Google ScholarPubMed
Heath, AC, et al. (2001) Predictors of non-response to a questionnaire survey of a volunteer twin panel: findings from the Australian 1989 twin cohort. Twin Research and Human Genetics 4, 7380.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hooley, JM, et al. (2010) Pain perception and nonsuicidal self-injury: a laboratory investigation. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment 1, 170179.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jacobson, CM and Gould, M (2007) The epidemiology and phenomenology of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior among adolescents: a critical review of the literature. Archives of Suicide Research 11, 129147.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jacobson, CM et al. (2008) Psychiatric impairment among adolescents engaging in different types of deliberate self-harm. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 37, 363375.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jang, KL, et al. (2003) Exposure to traumatic events and experiences: aetiological relationships with personality function. Psychiatry Research 120, 6169.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Joiner, T (2005) Why People Die by Suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Kendler, KS, et al. (2000) Childhood sexual abuse and adult psychiatric and substance use disorders in women: an epidemiological and co-twin control analysis. Archives of General Psychiatry 57, 953959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, RC, Borges, G and Walters, EE (1999) Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 56, 617626.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keyes, KM, et al. (2012) Childhood maltreatment and the structure of common psychiatric disorders. The British Journal of Psychiatry 200, 107115.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Klonsky, ED and May, AM (2014) Differentiating suicide attempters from suicide ideators: a critical frontier for suicidology research. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 44, 15.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Klonsky, ED, May, AM and Glenn, CR (2013) The relationship between nonsuicidal self-injury and attempted suicide: converging evidence from four samples. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 122, 231237.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Knopik, VS, et al. (2004) Genetic effects on alcohol dependence risk: re-evaluating the importance of psychiatric and other heritable risk factors. Psychological Medicine 34, 15191530.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Koenen, KC, et al. (2008) Common genetic liability to major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder in men. Journal of Affective Disorders 105, 109115.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Levesque, C, et al. (2010) The influence of romantic attachment and intimate partner violence on non-suicidal self-injury in young adults. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39, 474483.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Linehan, MM (1986) Suicidal people: one population or two? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 487, 1633.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Liu, RT, et al. (2018) Childhood maltreatment and non-suicidal self-injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry 5, 5164.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lloyd-Richardson, EE, et al. (2007) Characteristics and functions of non-suicidal self-injury in a community sample of adolescents. Psychological Medicine 37, 11831192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lynskey, MT and Fergusson, DM (1997) Factors protecting against the development of adjustment difficulties in young adults exposed to childhood sexual abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect 21, 11771190.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lynskey, MT, et al. (2012) An Australian twin study of cannabis and other illicit drug use and misuse, and other psychopathology. Twin Research and Human Genetics 15, 631641.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Maciejewski, DF, et al. (2014) Overlapping genetic and environmental influences on nonsuicidal self-injury and suicidal ideation: different outcomes, same etiology? JAMA Psychiatry 71, 699705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mann, JJ (2002) A current perspective of suicide and attempted suicide. Annals of Internal Medicine 136, 302311.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McCutcheon, VV, et al. (2009) Accumulation of trauma over time and risk for depression in a twin sample. Psychological Medicine 39, 431441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muehlenkamp, JJ (2005) Self-injurious behavior as a separate clinical syndrome. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 75, 324333.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Muehlenkamp, JJ and Gutierrez, PM (2004) An investigation of differences between self-injurious behavior and suicide attempts in a sample of adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 34, 1223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muehlenkamp, JJ and Gutierrez, PM (2007) Risk for suicide attempts among adolescents who engage in non-suicidal self-injury. Archives of Suicide Research 11, 6982.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mullins, N, et al. (2014) Genetic relationships between suicide attempts, suicidal ideation and major psychiatric disorders: a genome-wide association and polygenic scoring study. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics 165, 428437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muthén, LK and Muthén, BO (1998–2015). Mplus User's Guide, 7th edn., Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
Nelson, EC, et al. (2002) Association between self-reported childhood sexual abuse and adverse psychosocial outcomes: results from a twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry 59, 139145.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nelson, EC, et al. (2010) A family study of adult twins with and without a history of childhood abuse: stability of retrospective reports of maltreatment and associated family measures. Twin Research and Human Genetics 13, 121130.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nock, MK and Favazza, AR (2009) Nonsuicidal self-injury: definition and classification. In Nock, MK (ed). Understanding Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Origins, Assessment, and Treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nock, MK, et al. (2006) Non-suicidal self-injury among adolescents: diagnostic correlates and relation to suicide attempts. Psychiatry Research 144, 6572.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nock, MK, et al. (2008) Cross-national prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideation, plans and attempts. The British Journal of Psychiatry 192, 98105.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Parslow, RA, Jorm, AF and Christensen, H (2006) Associations of pre-trauma attributes and trauma exposure with screening positive for PTSD: analysis of a community-based study of 2085 young adults. Psychological Medicine 36, 387395.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ribeiro, JD et al. (2016) Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors as risk factors for future suicide ideation, attempts, and death: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Medicine 46, 225236.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ross, S and Heath, N (2002) A study of the frequency of self-mutilation in a community sample of adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 31, 6777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saccone, SF, et al. (2007) Genetic linkage to chromosome 22q12 for a heavy-smoking quantitative trait in two independent samples. American Journal of Human Genetics 80, 856866.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sartor, CE, et al. (2011) Common genetic and environmental contributions to post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependence in young women. Psychological Medicine 41, 14971505.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sartor, CE, et al. (2012) Common heritable contributions to low-risk trauma, high-risk trauma posttraumatic stress disorder, and major depression. Archives of General Psychiatry 69, 293299.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schaefer, JD, et al. (2017) Adolescent victimization and early-adult psychopathology: approaching causal inference using a longitudinal twin study to rule out noncausal explanations. Clinical Psychological Science, 120. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2167702617741381.Google ScholarPubMed
Selby, EA, et al. (2015) Nonsuicidal self-injury disorder: the path to diagnostic validity and final obstacles. Clinical Psychology Review 38, 7991.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sher, L and Stanley, BH (2009) Biological models of nonsuicidal self-injury. In Nock, MK (ed). Understanding Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Origins, Assessment, and Treatment, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 99116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skegg, K (2005) Self-harm. Lancet 366, 14711483.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Statham, DJ et al. (1998) Suicidal behaviour: an epidemiological and genetic study. Psychological Medicine 28, 839855.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stein, MB et al. (2002) Genetic and environmental influences on trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: a twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry 159, 16751681.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Turkheimer, E and Harden, KP (2014) Behavior genetic research methods: testing quasi-causal hypotheses using multivariate twin data. In Reis, HT and Judd, CM (eds). Handbook of Research Methods in Personality and Social Psychology, 2nd edn., New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pp. 159187.Google Scholar
Turner, HA, et al. (2012) Recent victimization exposure and suicidal ideation in adolescents. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 166, 11491154.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
van Geel, M, Vedder, P and Tanilon, J (2014) Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics 168, 435442.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vaughn, MG, et al. (2015) Deliberate self-harm and the nexus of violence, victimization, and mental health problems in the United States. Psychiatry Research 225, 588595.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Whitlock, J and Knox, KL (2007) The relationship between self-injurious behavior and suicide in a young adult population. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 161, 634640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Willoughby, T, Heffer, T and Hamza, CA (2015) The link between nonsuicidal self-injury and acquired capability for suicide: a longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 124, 11101115.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Supplementary material: File

Richmond-Rakerd et al. supplementary material

Tables S1-S6 and Figures S1-S8

Download Richmond-Rakerd et al. supplementary material(File)
File 645 KB
5
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Common genetic contributions to high-risk trauma exposure and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Common genetic contributions to high-risk trauma exposure and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Common genetic contributions to high-risk trauma exposure and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *