Associations of adverse and protective childhood experiences with thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicide risk among sexual minority men

Raymond L. Moody, Joseph A. Carter, Ali Talan, K. Marie Sizemore, Stephen T. Russell, H. Jonathon Rendina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Sexual minority men (SMM) experience higher suicidal ideation and suicide attempts than the general population. We examined the associations of adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and protective and compensatory childhood experiences (PACES) with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adulthood via thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness among SMM. Methods. Data are from the UNITE study, a national longitudinal cohort study of HIV-negative SMM from the 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Between 2017 and 2019, participants (N = 6303) completed web-based assessments at baseline and 12-month follow-up. ACES and PACES occurring before the age of 18, and current symptoms of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness were assessed at baseline. Past-week suicidal ideation and past-year suicide attempt were assessed at follow-up. Results. 424 (6.7%) participants reported past-week suicidal ideation and 123 (2.0%) reported a past-year suicide attempt. The results of our multivariate model suggest that each additional adverse childhood experience was prospectively associated with 14% higher odds of past-week suicidal ideation (AOR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.09–1.19) and 19% higher odds of past-year suicide attempt (AOR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.11–1.29). Each additional protective childhood experience was prospectively associated with 15% lower odds of past-week suicidal ideation (AOR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.81–0.90) and 11% lower odds of past-year suicide attempt (AOR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.82–0.98). Perceived burdensomeness partially mediated these prospective associations. Conclusion. To reduce suicide, screening and treating perceived burdensomeness among SMM with high ACES may be warranted. PACES may decrease perceived burdensomeness and associated suicide risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5615-5624
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological medicine
Volume53
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • ACES
  • PACES
  • perceived burdensomeness
  • sexual minority men
  • suicide
  • thwarted belongingness

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