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Association of prior depressive symptoms and suicide attempts with subsequent victimization: analysis of population-based data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2020



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King's Authors


Symptoms of mental disorder, particularly schizophrenia, predispose to victimization. Much less is known about the relationship between depressive symptoms and later victimization in the general population, the influence of these symptoms on types of subsequent victimization, or the role of symptom severity. We investigated this in nationally representative data from the United Kingdom.

Data were from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Multivariable logistic regressions estimated association between (a) prior depressive symptoms, (b) prior depressive symptoms with suicide attempt, and types of more recent victimization. Gender-specific associations were estimated using multiplicative interactions.

Prior depressive symptoms were associated with greater odds of any recent intimate partner violence (IPV), emotional IPV, sexual victimization, workplace victimization, any victimization, and cumulative victimization (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for increasing types of recent victimization: 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14, 1.89). Prior depressive symptoms with suicide attempt were associated with any recent IPV, emotional IPV, any victimization, and cumulative victimization (aOR for increasing types of recent victimization: 2.33, 95% CI: 1.22, 4.44). Self reported recalled data on previous depressive symptoms may have limited accuracy. Small numbers of outcomes for some comparisons results in imprecision of these estimates.

Aside from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, previous depressive symptoms in the general population are associated with greater subsequent victimization. Men and women with prior depressive symptoms may be vulnerable to a range of types of victimization, and may benefit from interventions to reduce this vulnerability.

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