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Integrative Understanding of Familial Impulsivity, Early Adversity and Suicide Risk.


Introduction: Impulsivity is a core characteristic of bipolar disorder and it was observed as elevated in individuals with the disorder and in their relatives. Both impulsivity and history of maltreatment are risk factors for suicide attempts, however, these two key variables may not be independent, given the fact that parental impulsivity and associated social context could increase the risk of child maltreatment. In this study it was examined the association between the impulsivity of relatives and child maltreatment taking into consideration the conjoint and unique effects of these two variables on the risk of suicide attempts among the patients. Materials and Methods: Participants of the study consisted of 117 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 25 first-degree relatives. Linear regression model was conducted to describe associations between facets of impulsivity of relatives and levels of child maltreatment reported by patients. The independent associations of suicide attempt history with the dimensions of impulsivity of the patient and maltreatment were tested by multinomial logistic regression. Results: Impulsivity of relatives and, more specifically, inhibitory control can predict the maltreatment of the patient. Inhibitory control and emotional abuse were related, conjointly, to a greater likelihood of having a history of more than one suicide attempt. Discussion: Considering that the impulsivity of relatives predicts child maltreatment, it is possible that a genetically shared impulsivity is an underlying feature associated with the history of multiple suicide attempts. These findings highlight the importance of considering child maltreatment, impulsivity and suicide attempt history in integrative models.

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