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Title: A Systematic Review on the Protective Factors that Reduce Suicidality following Childhood Exposure to External Cause Parental Death, including Suicide
Contributor(s): Hua, Phuong (author); Huang, Chongmei (author); Bugeja, Lyndal (author); Wayland, Sarah  (author)orcid ; Maple, Myfanwy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2020-12-15
Early Online Version: 2020-11-12
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadr.2020.100032
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Abstract: Background
Exposure to parental death in childhood has been associated with increased suicide risk among offspring, although few studies have examined protective factors that reduce suicide risk in this cohort. This systematic literature review aimed to synthesise primary studies on the protective factors that reduce suicidality following childhood exposure to external cause parental death, including suicide. These factors are also regarded as having ‘buffering’ effects that may promote posttraumatic growth and resilience.
A systematic literature review was conducted in accordance with guidelines from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Ovid PsycINFO, Web of Science, CINAHL via EbscoHost and Ovid EMBASE were searched. Two researchers independently screened the articles, performed data extraction and assessed quality of evidence.
Of the 1976 studies identified, 23 were included for review. Most studies provided evidence of individual, interpersonal and environmental-level factors which lower an individual's risk of subsequent suicidality following parental death, including suicide. Five studies made specific reference to resilience and gave evidence that bereaved offspring were well-adjusted and showed normative development. Two studies examined posttraumatic growth suggesting some offspring can develop more prosocial traits through the bereavement process.
There were limited studies mentioning posttraumatic growth which did not allow researchers to study its development and how it differs or complements the development of resilience. Most studies also had limited sample sizes.
Bereaved children have the capacity to adapt to parental death as they transition to adulthood although further research is needed to differentiate individuals who demonstrate resilience from those who exhibit posttraumatic growth.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, v.2, p. 1-17
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 2666-9153
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
111714 Mental Health
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920209 Mental Health Services
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200305 Mental health services
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health

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