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The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine bidirectional associations of adolescents’ internalizing symptoms with dating violence victimization and perpetration. We conducted secondary analyses of the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development data (n = 974). Each adolescent completed items from the Conflict Tactics Scale (at ages 15 and 17 years) to assess psychological, physical, and sexual dating violence victimization and perpetration in the past 12 months. Adolescents’ symptoms of depression and general anxiety in the past 12 months were self-reported (at ages 15 and 17 years) using The Mental Health and Social Inadaptation Assessment for Adolescents. There were concurrent associations of adolescents’ internalizing symptoms with dating violence victimization and perpetration. Internalizing symptoms at age 15 years were positively associated with dating violence victimization and perpetration 2 years later in both males and females, even after adjusting for baseline characteristics. However, neither dating violence victimization nor perpetration at age 15 years was associated with internalizing symptoms 2 years later. For males and females, internalizing symptoms put adolescents at risk for future dating violence victimization and perpetration. Interventions that target internalizing symptoms may have the potential to decrease subsequent dating violence.
Bullying victimisation has been associated with increased risk of suicide ideation and attempt throughout the lifespan, but no study has yet examined whether it translates to a greater risk of death by suicide. We aimed to determine the association of bullying victimisation with suicide mortality.
Participants were drawn from the 1958 British birth cohort, a prospective follow-up of all births in 1 week in Britain in 1958. We conducted logistic regressions on 14 946 participants whose mothers reported bullying victimisation at 7 and 11 years with linked information on suicide deaths through the National Health Service Central Register.
Fifty-five participants (48 males) had died by suicide between the age 18 and 52 years. Bullying victimisation was associated with suicide mortality; a one standard deviation increases in bullying victimisation linked to an increased odds for suicide mortality [odds ratio (OR) 1.29; 1.02–1.64] during adulthood. The OR attenuated by 11% after adjustment for individual (e.g. behavioural and emotional problems) and familial characteristics (e.g. adverse childhood experiences, 1.18; 0.92–1.51). Analysis of bullying victimisation frequency categories yields similar results: compared with individuals who had not been bullied, those who had been frequently bullied had an increased odds for suicide mortality (OR 1.89; 0.99–3.62).
Our study suggests that individuals who have been frequently bullied have a small increased risk of dying by suicide, when no other risk factors is considered. Suicide prevention might start in childhood, with bullying included in a range of inter-correlated vulnerabilities encompassing behavioural and emotional difficulties and adverse experiences within the family.
Peer victimization is associated with a wide range of mental health problems in youth, yet few studies described its association with mental health comorbidities.
To test the association between peer victimization timing and intensity and mental health comorbidities, we used data from 1216 participants drawn from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a population-based birth cohort. Peer victimization was self-reported at ages 6–17 years, and modeled as four trajectory groups: low, childhood-limited, moderate adolescence-emerging, and high-chronic. The outcomes were the number and the type of co-occurring self-reported mental health problems at age 20 years. Associations were estimated using negative binomial and multinomial logistic regression models and adjusted for parent, family, and child characteristics using propensity score inverse probability weights.
Youth in all peer victimization groups had higher rates of co-occurring mental health problems and higher likelihood of comorbid internalizing-externalizing problems [odds ratios ranged from 2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.52–2.79 for childhood-limited to 4.34, 95% CI 3.15–5.98 for high-chronic victimization] compared to those in the low victimization group. The strength of these associations was highest for the high-chronic group, followed by moderate adolescence-emerging and childhood-limited groups. All groups also presented higher likelihood of internalizing-only problems relative to the low peer victimization group.
Irrespective of timing and intensity, self-reported peer victimization was associated with mental health comorbidities in young adulthood, with the strongest associations observed for high-chronic peer victimization. Tackling peer victimization, especially when persistent over time, could play a role in reducing severe and complex mental health problems in youth.
Youth who attempt suicide are more at risk for later mental disorders and suicide. However, little is known about their long-term socioeconomic outcomes.
We investigated associations between youth suicide attempts and adult economic and social outcomes.
Participants were drawn from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children (n = 2140) and followed up from ages 6 to 37 years. Lifetime suicide attempt was assessed at 15 and 22 years. Economic (employment earnings, retirement savings, welfare support, bankruptcy) and social (romantic partnership, separation/divorce, number of children) outcomes were assessed through data linkage with government tax return records obtained from age 22 to 37 years (2002–2017). Generalised linear models were used to test the association between youth suicide attempt and outcomes adjusting for background characteristics, parental mental disorders and suicide, and youth concurrent mental disorders.
By age 22, 210 youths (9.8%) had attempted suicide. In fully adjusted models, youth who attempted suicide had lower annual earnings (average last 5 years, US$ −4134, 95% CI −7950 to −317), retirement savings (average last 5 years, US$ −1387, 95% CI −2982 to 209), greater risk of receiving welfare support (risk ratio (RR) = 2.05, 95% CI 1.39 to 3.04) and were less likely to be married/cohabiting (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.93), compared with those who did not attempt suicide. Over a 40-year working career, the loss of individual earnings attributable to suicide attempts was estimated at US$98 384.
Youth who attempt suicide are at risk of poor adult socioeconomic outcomes. Findings underscore the importance of psychosocial interventions for young people who have attempted suicide to prevent long-term social and economic disadvantage.
While childhood externalizing, internalizing and comorbid problems have been associated with suicidal risk, little is known about their specific associations with suicidal ideation and attempts. We examined associations between childhood externalizing, internalizing and comorbid problems and suicidal ideation (without attempts) and attempts by early adulthood, in males and females.
Participants were from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children, a population-based study of kindergarteners in Quebec from 1986 to 1988 and followed-up until 2005. We captured the co-development of teacher-rated externalizing and internalizing problems at age 6–12 using multitrajectories. Using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule administered at age 15 and 22, we identified individuals (1) who never experienced suicidal ideation/attempts, (2) experienced suicidal ideation but never attempted suicide and (3) attempted suicide.
The identified profiles were no/low problems (45%), externalizing (29%), internalizing (11%) and comorbid problems (13%). After adjusting for socioeconomic and familial characteristics, children with externalizing (OR 2.00, CI 1.39–2.88), internalizing (OR 2.34, CI 1.51–3.64) and comorbid (OR 3.29, CI 2.05–5.29) problems were at higher risk of attempting suicide (v. non-suicidal) by age 22 than those with low/no problems. Females with comorbid problems were at higher risk of attempting suicide than females with one problem. Childhood problems were not associated with suicidal ideation. Externalizing (OR 2.01, CI 1.29–3.12) and comorbid problems (OR 2.28, CI 1.29–4.03) distinguished individuals who attempted suicide from those who thought about suicide without attempting.
Childhood externalizing problems alone or combined with internalizing problems were associated with suicide attempts, but not ideation (without attempts), suggesting that these problems confer a specific risk for suicide attempts.
Low birth weight is associated with adult mental health, cognitive, and socioeconomic problems. However, the causal nature of these associations remains difficult to establish due to confounding. We aimed to estimate the contribution of birth weight to adult mental health, cognitive, and socioeconomic outcomes using two-sample Mendelian randomisation, an instrumental variable approach strengthening causal inference.
We used 48 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms as genetic instruments for birth weight (N of the genome-wide association study, 264 498), and considered mental health (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], schizophrenia, suicide attempt), cognitive (intelligence), and socioeconomic (educational attainment, income, social deprivation) outcomes. We performed a two-sample Mendelian randomisation using the random-effect Inverse Variance Weighing method as primary analysis, supplemented by a wide range of sensitivity analyses, including Egger regression, weighted median, and Pleiotropy Residual Sum and Outlier. Results were considered statistically significant after accounting for multiple testing using False Discovery Rate (q = 0.05).
After correction for multiple testing, we found evidence for a contribution of birth weight to ADHD (OR for 1 SD-unit decrease [~464 grams] in birth weight, 1.29; CI, 1.03–1.62), PTSD (OR = 1.69; CI = 1.06–2.71), and suicide attempt (OR = 1.39; CI = 1.05–1.84), as well as for intelligence (β= –0.07; CI= –0.13; –0.02), and socioeconomic outcomes, ie, educational attainment (β=−0.05; CI= –0.09; –0.01), income (β=−0.08; CI= –0.15; –0.02), and social deprivation (β=0.08; CI = 0.03; 0.13). However, no evidence was found for a contribution of birth weight to the other examined mental health outcomes. Results were consistent across main and sensitivity analyses.
These findings support that birthweight could be an important element on the causal pathway to mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes. Early interventions targeting birth weight may therefore have a positive impact on promoting mental health and improving socioeconomic outcomes.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 793396
Low birth weight is associated with adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic problems. However, the causal nature of these associations remains difficult to establish owing to confounding.
To estimate the contribution of birth weight to adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes using two-sample Mendelian randomisation, an instrumental variable approach strengthening causal inference.
We used 48 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms as genetic instruments for birth weight (genome-wide association studies’ total sample: n = 264 498) and considered mental health (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, suicide attempt), cognitive (intelligence) and socioeconomic (educational attainment, income, social deprivation) outcomes.
We found evidence for a contribution of birth weight to ADHD (OR for 1 s.d. unit decrease (~464 g) in birth weight, 1.29; 95% CI 1.03–1.62), PTSD (OR = 1.69; 95% CI 1.06–2.71) and suicide attempt (OR = 1.39; 95% CI 1.05–1.84), as well as for intelligence (β = −0.07; 95% CI −0.13 to −0.02) and socioeconomic outcomes, i.e. educational attainment (β = −0.05; 95% CI −0.09 to −0.01), income (β = −0.08; 95% CI −0.15 to −0.02) and social deprivation (β = 0.08; 95% CI 0.03–0.13). However, no evidence was found for a contribution of birth weight to the other examined mental health outcomes. Results were consistent across a wide range of sensitivity analyses.
These findings support the hypothesis that birth weight could be an important element on the causal pathway to mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes.
We aimed to identify groups of children presenting distinct perinatal adversity profiles and test the association between profiles and later risk of suicide attempt.
Data were from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD, N = 1623), and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, N = 5734). Exposures to 32 perinatal adversities (e.g. fetal, obstetric, psychosocial, and parental psychopathology) were modeled using latent class analysis, and associations with a self-reported suicide attempt by age 20 were investigated with logistic regression. We investigated to what extent childhood emotional and behavioral problems, victimization, and cognition explained the associations.
In both cohorts, we identified five profiles: No perinatal risk, Poor fetal growth, Socioeconomic adversity, Delivery complications, Parental mental health problems (ALSPAC only). Compared to children with No perinatal risk, children in the Poor fetal growth (pooled estimate QLSCD-ALSPAC, OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.04–3.44), Socioeconomic adversity (pooled-OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.08–1.85), and Parental mental health problems (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.27–2.40), but not Delivery complications, profiles were more likely to attempt suicide. The proportion of this effect mediated by the putative mediators was larger for the Socioeconomic adversity profile compared to the others.
Perinatal adversities associated with suicide attempt cluster in distinct profiles. Suicide prevention may begin early in life and requires a multidisciplinary approach targeting a constellation of factors from different domains (psychiatric, obstetric, socioeconomic), rather than a single factor, to effectively reduce suicide vulnerability. The way these factors cluster together also determined the pathways leading to a suicide attempt, which can guide decision-making on personalized suicide prevention strategies.
Suicide is a leading cause of mortality in youth, yet the course of suicide attempts is poorly documented. We explored the vulnerable transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood to identify group trajectories and risk factors.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth is a prospective representative cohort of Canadian children. We followed participants aged 7–11 years in 1994–95 to age 23 (2008–09). We modelled self-reported past-year suicide attempts (ages 12 to 23 years) using growth mixture models. We analysed risk factors from self- and parent-report questionnaires at pre-adolescence (ages 10–11) and early adolescence (ages 12–13) using multinomial logistic regressions. Analyses were adjusted for sample non-response and attrition.
In 2233 participants answering questions on teen and adult suicide attempts, we identified three trajectories: never attempted (96.0%), adolescence-limited (2.0%) and persisting into adulthood (2.0%). Adolescent girls aged 12–13 with depression/anxiety symptoms, and with mothers experiencing depression had higher risks of adolescence-limited than never-attempted [relative risk RR 9.27 (95% confidence interval: 1.73–49.82); 2.03 (1.02–3.32), for each standard deviation increase; 1.07 (1.00–1.15); respectively]. Preteen ADHD symptoms increased the risk of attempts persisting into adulthood as compared to never-attempted [RR 2.05 (1.29–3.28) for each standard deviation increase]. Suicide death of schoolmate/acquaintance increased risks of an adulthood trajectory as compared to never-attempted and adolescence-limited [RR 8.41 (3.04–23.27) and 6.63 (1.29–34.06), respectively].
In half the participants attempting suicide, attempts continued into adulthood. We stress the need for preventive strategies in early adolescence and differential clinical/educational interventions as identified for each trajectory.
Poor cognitive abilities and low intellectual quotient (IQ) are associated with an increased risk of suicide attempts and suicide mortality. However, knowledge of how this association develops across the life-course is limited. Our study aims to establish whether individuals who died by suicide by mid-adulthood are distinguishable by their child-to-adolescence cognitive trajectories.
Participants were from the 1958 British Birth Cohort and were assessed for academic performance at ages 7, 11, and 16 and intelligence at 11 years. Suicides occurring by September 2012 were identified from linked national death certificates. We compared mean mathematics and reading abilities and rate of change across 7–16 years for individuals who died by suicide v. those still alive, with and without adjustment for potential early-life confounding factors. Analyses were based on 14 505 participants.
Fifty-five participants (48 males) had died by suicide by age 54 years. While males who died by suicide did not differ from participants still alive in reading scores at age 7 [effect size (g) = −0.04, p = 0.759], their reading scores had a less steep improvement up to age 16 compared to other participants. Adjustments for early-life confounding factors explained these differences. A similar pattern was observed for mathematics scores. There was no difference between individuals who died by suicide v. participants still alive on intelligence at 11 years.
While no differences in tests of academic performance and IQ were observed, individuals who died by suicide had a less steep improvement in reading abilities over time compared to same-age peers.
In order to support service planning of the youth program of the East of Montreal Health and Social Services Board, and potentially of the other twenty-five programs across the Quebec province, our hospital-based Health Technology Assessment (HTA) unit was asked to bring evidence of the effective interventions for five most common mental disorders in children and young populations, namely anxio-depressive disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, oppositional and conduct disorders, substance abuse disorders, and suicide attempts.
A review of reviews was conducted for the five disorders in young populations aged 6 to 25 years. This was based exclusively on systematic reviews and meta-analysis of a minimum two randomized-controlled trials. The review was completed with examples of Quebec's good practices in youth mental health gathered from personal research experience of clinical researchers involved in the project. The project involved collaboration with three other hospital units and provincial HTA agencies.
No review supporting screening and early detection for the five disorders was identified. Prevention, however, was better covered in the literature, and a clear distinction was made between universal, targeted and indicated interventions. In general, targeted and indicated prevention interventions were effective in the case of anxio-depressive (1) and substance use disorders, while universal prevention strategies seemed to reduce suicide attempts and suicide ideation (2). Effective treatments also exist for these mental disorders. In general, psychotherapies dominated for anxio-depressive and substance use disorders; parental skills dominated in oppositional disorders, whilst pharmacological treatment dominated in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (3). Evidence was limited for suicide attempts. The overview of Quebec's good practices allowed identification of interventions or practices already in use in the province.
The review summarized effective interventions for five most common mental disorders in young populations. It also permitted to identify several research gaps, and therefore research recommendations were formulated for the province's health research agency.
Hypovitaminosis D has been linked with poor cognitive function, particularly in older adults, but studies lack a lifespan approach; hence, the effects of reverse causality remain unknown. In the present study, we aimed to assess the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and subsequent cognitive performance in mid-adulthood and the influence of earlier life factors, including childhood cognitive ability, on this association. Information for the present study was obtained from the members of the 1958 British birth cohort (n 6496). Serum 25(OH)D concentration, indicating vitamin D status, was measured at age 45 years. Verbal memory (immediate and delayed word recall), verbal fluency (animal naming) and speed of processing were tested at age 50 years. Information on childhood cognitive ability, educational attainment, vitamin D-related behaviours and other covariates was collected prospectively from participants throughout their life. Childhood cognitive ability and educational attainment by age 42 years were strongly correlated with cognitive performance at age 50 years and with several vitamin D-related behaviours in mid-adulthood, but not with 25(OH)D concentrations at age 45 years. Participants with both low ( < 25 nmol/l) and high ( ≥ 75 nmol/l) 25(OH)D concentrations at age 45 years performed significantly worse on immediate word recall. The associations attenuated after adjustment for childhood cognitive ability, education, and socio-economic position; however, for the immediate word recall test, there was a non-linear association with 25(OH)D after further adjustment for obesity, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and depressive symptoms at age 45 years (Pcurvature= 0·01). The present study demonstrated that 25(OH)D concentrations were non-linearly associated with immediate word recall in mid-life. A clarification of the level of 25(OH)D concentrations that is most beneficial for predicting better cognitive performance in mid-life is required.
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