|Basic InformationLookupsLatest News|Care Access Worsening for Adults With Psychological DistressJust 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer ScreeningsAnxious? Distressed? You're Not AlonePast Psychiatric Disorders Do Not Raise Risk of Alzheimer's DiseasePast Psychiatric Ills Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: StudySelf-Harm Can Be a Harbinger of SuicideClimate Change May Cloud Americans' Mental Health: ReportKetamine Beneficial for Certain Patients With Mood DisordersPatients Reluctant to Comply With Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentPatients Often Reject Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentStudy Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke RiskAnxiety, Depression May Up Mortality Risk for Some CancersMental Health May Affect Chances Against CancerObamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, AddictionsMany With Mental Illness Miss Out on HIV TestsPlastic Surgeons Often Miss Patients' Mental DisordersMortality Risk in T2DM Increased With Depression and/or AnxietyMost Smokers With Mental Illness Want to Kick the HabitRate of Psychiatric Drug Use About 16 Percent in U.S. Adults1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: StudyFor People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be InvaluableHealth Tip: Thinking About Psychological Therapy?Heart Rate, BP in Male Teens Tied to Later Risk for Psych DisordersU.S. Psychiatric Patients Face Long Waits in ERsAre Some Blood Pressure Meds Linked to Depression, Bipolar Risk?Study Links Pot Use to Relapse in Psychosis PatientsInternet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: StudyPsychiatric Patients Face Longer Waits in ERParents' Psychiatric Issues May Adversely Affect Some ChildrenAntipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study FindsInfertility Patients' Mental Health Problems Often UnaddressedStudy of Teen Brains Offers Clues to Timing of Mental IllnessHealth Tip: Take Steps to Stay Mentally HealthyAre 'Workaholics' Prone to OCD, Anxiety?Mentally Ill Still Gain Illegal Possession of Guns, Study ShowsMental Disorders Were Most Costly in U.S. in 2013For New Antipsychotic Users, Dose, Duration Impact MortalityU.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in IraqQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Parents' Psychiatric Issues May Adversely Affect Some Children
by By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 1st 2016
THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some children of parents with a history of psychiatric illness may be at higher risk for attempting suicide and/or engaging in violent behavior, a new Danish study suggests.
Danes born to parents who had themselves attempted suicide, or who had struggled with antisocial personality disorder or marijuana abuse, were found to face the biggest risk for attempted suicide or violence -- up to four times as high, the study contended.
But, study lead author Pearl Mok stressed that, despite any potential elevated risk, people born to parents with a psychiatric illness or a violent history aren't necessarily fated to experience similar difficulties.
In fact, most such children won't experience any related problems.
"Of the over 1.7 million people included in our study population, 2.6 percent first attempted suicide and 3.2 percent were convicted of a first violent offense during the study period," Mok said.
"Therefore, the vast majority of individuals, irrespective of whether their parent or parents have had a history of psychiatric illnesses, did not engage in these two harmful behaviors," added Mok, a research associate at the University of Manchester in England.
Also, the study only showed an association, not a cause-and-effect link.
To explore the issue, investigators sifted through psychiatric and crime registries in Denmark.
The focus was all Danes born between 1967 and 1997. All of the children were living in Denmark when they turned 15 years old.
The researchers first compiled a history of parental psychiatric illnesses. These included mental and mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, Alzheimer's-related dementia, personality disorders, substance abuse and attempted suicide.
Parental histories were then compared with attempted suicides and/or violent behavior among their children. The researchers looked for behavior that resulted in an adult criminal conviction through December 2012. These convictions included murder, assault, robbery, violent threats, rioting, kidnapping and sexual offenses.
Mok said the children of parents with a history of any psychiatric illness were about 2.3 times more likely to be convicted of a violent offense. They were also 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than those whose parents had no such diagnosis.
The study was published Aug. 31 in JAMA Psychiatry.
The researchers said they also uncovered a gender gap in regards to elevated violence risk. The risk was greater among female children of parents with psychiatric illness than male children. But, male children in general -- regardless of parental mental health status -- exhibited more violent behavior overall, the researchers said.
"Thus, women exposed to parental mental illness deviated far more than their unexposed female peers in their incidence of violent offending than was the case with exposed men compared to their unexposed male counterparts," said Mok.
But, exactly why remains unclear.
Mok said the rise in risk among the children is "most likely [due] to a combination of nature plus nurture."
However, such children "may also be at heightened risk of being additionally exposed to other adversities such as maladaptive parenting practice, abuse, neglect and financial hardship," she noted.
"Shared genetic vulnerability" may play a role, Mok added.
Dr. David Brent is an endowed chair in suicide studies and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He was the lead author of an editorial that accompanied the study.
He echoed Mok's point that such children aren't doomed to struggle.
The new study, he said, offers a "clue about which youth to be vigilant about in terms of development of suicidal behavior or violence."
"[But] genetics or environment is not destiny," Brent added.
"The risk is increased, but the majority of youth even in the high-risk group will be unaffected," he said.
There's more on mental illness in families at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
This article: Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.