Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 119–133

Suicidal Ideation, Parent–Child Relationships, and Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Cross-Validation Study Using a Graphical Markov Model

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10578-010-0203-4

Cite this article as:
Hardt, J., Herke, M. & Schier, K. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2011) 42: 119. doi:10.1007/s10578-010-0203-4


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in many Western countries. An exploration of factors associated with suicidality may help to understand the mechanisms that lead to suicide. Two samples in Germany (n = 500 and n = 477) were examined via Internet regarding suicidality, depression, alcohol abuse, adverse childhood experiences, and parent–child relationships. A Graphical Markov Model was constructed from the first subsample, testing for main, quadratic and interaction effects. All effects in the model were cross-validated using the second subsample. Depression was found to be a strong predictor of suicidality; alcohol abuse was not a predictor. Both maternal and paternal love also predicted suicidality; the former had an indirect effect via depression and the latter a direct effect. Early experiences with violence showed both a direct and indirect association with suicidality. In addition to depression being a predictor for suicidality, various pathways connect suicidality with early childhood experiences.


SuicidalityChildhood adversitiesFamily atmosphereInternational survey

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, School of MedicineUniversitätsmedizin Mainz Johannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland