The Relationship Between Cumulative Adversity in Childhood and Adolescent Suicide and Accidental Death

John Devaney, Lisa Bunting, Gavin Davidson, David Hayes, Anne Lazenbatt, Trevor Spratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On the whole research has concluded that most young people navigate adolescence with few difficulties, but a minority do find this stage of life challenging, and their ways of coping may have negative consequences for both themselves and others. For some the experience of adversity in earlier childhood, and the cumulative impact of multiple adversities has the potential to compromise a young person’s natural resilience. In some cases this may result in an adolescent feeling overwhelmed, and dying through suicide or other high risk behaviours. This article explores these issues with reference to eight young people who died by suicide in Northern Ireland. The article argues that young people exposed to multiple adversities in childhood require earlier, more sustained and better co-ordinated services from professionals if their psychological and emotional well-being is to be promoted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalDeveloping Practice
Volume38
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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