Familial Susceptibility to Suicide, Death of Parents in Early Life, and Behavioral Health Disorders in Older Adulthood: F x E Interactions

Michael S. Hollingshaus, University of Utah

We examined how familial susceptibility to suicide might interact with early-life parental death to create behavioral health phenotypes in older adulthood. We utilized demographic and pedigree data from the Utah Population Database, linked with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services records for the State of Utah between 1992 and 2009, to examine this familiality x environment (F x E) interaction. The final sample included 163,295 individuals. Findings showed that experiencing death of a parent in early life and having a familial predisposition to suicide were each independent risk factors for behavioral health disorders in older adulthood. But, we found no evidence of an interactive effect between the two risk factors. We also found that being male, religiosity, marriage, and higher childhood SES were protective against behavioral health disorders in older adulthood.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families