Mood Emot 2021 Nov; 19(3): 77-84
The Association between Childhood Traumatic Experiences and Suicidality in College Students
Hyun Ju Yang , MD, PhD, Young Eun Jung , MD, PhD, Joon Hyuk Park , MD, PhD, Moon Doo Kim , MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Moon Doo Kim, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National University School of Medicine, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea
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Received: July 6, 2021; Revised: August 24, 2021; Accepted: August 24, 2021; Published online: November 30, 2021.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: To address the high suicide rate in Korea, determining the suicidality risk factors is a key concern in policymaking and prevention. This study aimed to describe the effects of traumatic childhood experiences on suicidality among young adults.
Methods: This study included 1,379 subjects from two universities in Jeju, Korea. All participants completed selfadministered questionnaires that included demographic variables, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scale to evaluate traumatic childhood experiences, and a Korean version of the Suicide Module of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to evaluate suicidality.
Results: Of the subjects, 33.2% reported experiencing traumatic childhood experiences, and the prevalence of positive suicidality was 21.8%. Regression analyses indicated a significant association between traumatic childhood experiences and positive suicidality after controlling for multiple variables. Furthermore, subjects with positive suicidality were likely to report experiencing more traumatic childhood experiences (p<0.001). After categorizing the subjects into two groups according to ACE score, the positive ACE group showed a higher risk of suicidal ideation (p<0.001, adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.09) and suicidal attempt (p<0.001, AOR=4.15) than those negative ACE.
Conclusion: Intervention and practical strategies for college students with a history of traumatic childhood experiences must be considered for suicide prevention.
Keywords: Traumatic childhood experiences; College students; Suicide

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