ISSN 2586-0151 (Print)
ISSN 2586-0046 (Online)
Volume 16, Number 1 (1/2020)
Original Article <page. 1-8 >

Association between Exposure to Suicide Events and Suicidal Ideation : Comparison Among Groups with Exposure to Suicidal Death, Non-Suicidal Death, and No Death

Ji Eun Kim, PhD1; and In Han Song, PhD2,3;

1;Center for Social Welfare Research, Yonsei University, Seoul, 2;Graduate School of Social Welfare, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 3;Department of Health Policy & Management, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Objective : This study aims to examine the association between exposure to suicide events and suicide ideation by analyzing the levels of suicide ideation among the groups with exposure to suicide death, non-suicide death, and no death in their social relationships.

Methods : Data were derived from Wave I of the Longitudinal Study of Suicide Survivors' Mental Health. 1,998 adults nationwide selected using a stratified sampling method based on the Korean Census Data, were categorized into 3 groups with exposure to suicidal death, non-suicidal death, and no death. The levels of depression (Brief CES-D), subjective health status, and suicidal ideation (SSI) were measured. To examine the association between exposure to suicide and the level of suicide ideation, multiple regression analysis was used after controlling the socio-demographic and clinical factors including subjective health status and depression.

Results : 32% reported their exposure to suicide. Compared to the other groups, the suicide-exposed group's level of depression and suicide ideation were significantly higher but the subjective health status was lower. Multiple regression model revealed that suicide exposure had a statistically significant association with suicidal ideation at p=0.000 even after controlling the clinical characteristics.

Conclusion : The findings suggest that exposure to suicide is a risk factor for suicidal ideation. In the clinical field, it is necessary to consider patients' experience in exposure to suicide while treating and intervening in suicide-related cases. At the policy level, a mental health system for suicide prevention should consider this risk factor for those exposed to suicide in their family and social relationships.


Key words : Exposure to suicide;Suicidal ideation;Suicide survivor;Suicide prevention.

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