This was revealed in a collaborative study constituting
over 15,000 teenagers and young adults by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and
Copenhagen University in Denmark.
The study says that the risk is
much higher in teenagers than in young adults.
In Sweden, although the incidence
of suicide has dropped over the recent years, the suicide attempts have
increased especially by young adults. This trend is observed in other European
countries as well.
Mental illness and suicidal tendencies
in parents have long been considered as risk factors or triggers for the
children to commit suicide.
The present study attempted to
look for a link between people undergoing inpatient care for mental illness or
suicide attempt or suicide, and their children committing or attempting
The study revealed that young
people, especially teenagers, attempted suicide within about two years of their
parents committing suicide. Young girls in particular were prone to attempt
suicide if their mothers have committed the act or if they were admitted for
the treatment of mental illness.
The suicidal tendency among both
sexes in these events declined with age.
The study was carried out on a
total of 15,193 teenagers and young adults who were born between 1973 and 1983
and who attempted to kill themselves between the ages of 15 and 31. They were
compared with their peers belonging to the same area and sex, but who haven't
The study concludes that young
people, particularly teenagers need support during that period of time when any
of their parents has been admitted for mental illness or has suicidal
The result of this
study has been published online in PLOS ONE.