Male students who experienced both physical and sexual teen dating violence were about twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the previous 12 months than were females, according to a study published March 2 by JAMA Pediatrics.
The adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) for attempted suicide in males in grades 9-12 who had experienced both physical and sexual teen dating violence (TDV) was 9.3, compared with 4.7 for females, reported Kevin J. Vagi, Ph.D., and his associates at the division of violence prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For males, the APR for attempted suicide was 3.3 among males who reported physical TDV only and 2.7 for sexual TDV only. For females, the APR for attempted suicide was 2.5 in those reporting physical TDV and 2.3 for those who experienced sexual TDV. The attempted-suicide APR for those who experienced any kind of teen dating violence was 5.0 for males and 3.1 for females, they said (JAMA Pediatrics 2015 Mar. 2 [doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3577]).
Although males who experienced both physical and sexual TDV were slightly more likely than females to seriously consider suicide or to make suicide plans, the differences were much lower. The prevalence ratio for considering suicide was 3.7 for those males and 2.8 for those females, and the APR for making a suicide plan was 4.3 for those males and 3.8 for those females.
“These findings suggest that … there may be different health risks related to the type of violence experienced and that there may be a cumulative negative effect for victims experiencing both forms of TDV,” the CDC investigators said.
The study used data collected for the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The authors said they had no conflict of interest disclosures.