J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2014 Nov;53(6):386-393. 10.4306/jknpa.2014.53.6.386.

Relationship of Suicide Risk with Early Life Stress and Resilience in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. johnstein@yuhs.ac
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship of suicide risk with early-life stress (ELS) and resilience in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
The participants were 60 patients with MDD and 29 healthy volunteers. Each subject was assessed concerning ELS, resilience factors, suicide ideation, and depressive symptom severity using self-report questionnaires. Mann-Whitney test and stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed.
Emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and exposure to inter-parental violence were higher in the patient group than in the control group. Resilience factors were significantly lower in the patient group. In multiple regression analyses, final regression model including physical abuse, neglect, and self-regulation factor was significant explaining 45.6% variance of suicide ideation score.
We found that ELS experiences, particularly exposure to inter-parental violence, might be a significant risk factor for development of depression. In particular, experiences of physical abuse and neglect might increase the risk of suicide in depression but resilience may play a protective role in development of depression and prevention of suicide in depressive patients.


Early-life stress; Resilience; Suicide; Major depressive disorder
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