Stephanie Kasen, Ph.D.

Stephanie Kasen, Ph.D.

Stephanie Kasen, Ph.D., New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University

Standard Research Grant (2008): $63,750

Transmission of Suicidal Behavior in Three Generations of the Same Families: A 30 Year Community Study

Abstract: This study involves a secondary analysis of six waves of data collected over a 30-year period from about 800 families. The initial sample was selected in 1975 and consisted of 976 families with at least one child under age 10. The original study aim was to identify early risk factors for emotional/behavioral disturbances. Seven hundred and eighty study mothers and children were reinterviewed at three additional time intervals; waves 5 and 6 have focused on the children, about a third of whom now have children of their own. The data set offers a unique opportunity to identify familial pathways to early onset and later suicidal ideation and behavior, and to develop a three-generation model of transmission of suicide risk and protective factors that is appropriate to a community sample as opposed to more frequently studied high-risk individuals. Both direct and indirect transmission of suicidal behavior will be examined, with the latter considering such factors as depression, impulsivity, problematic parenting, parent-child bonds and connectedness to school as a child and to a supportive partner as an adult.

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