A new study released this week suggests that adopted teens may be at a higher risk for suicide than their non-adopted counterparts, according to an article published yesterday by Reuters. The study was conducted over a period of 3 years, and researchers used data gathered from 692 adopted children and 540 non-adopted children. Over the 3-year period, 56 of the children made at least one suicide attempt. 47 of the 56 children who attempted suicide were adopted.
The study was unable to identify precisely why adopted children are more likely to attempt suicide, but researchers cited several possible reasons. Because many of the adopted children came from abroad, often being adopted by parents with very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, researchers suggested that a loss of cultural identity may have been a contributing factor. In addition, many adopted children may carry emotional scars from their early years, depending on the homes from which they came and the circumstances under which they were removed from their biological parents.
The findings of the study suggest that parents of adoptive children should be particularly attuned to any possible warning signs that indicate depression or suicidal tendencies in their children. However, all parents should be prepared to recognize these signs, as depression can affect anyone. Researchers also say that parents who adopt should not be overly concerned, but it is good to be aware of the study's findings and for all parents to be vigilant.