Suicidal behavior in individuals accused or convicted of child sex abuse or indecent image offenses: systematic review of prevalence and risk factors

Key, Rebecca, Underwood, Alan, Farnham, Frank, Marzano, Lisa ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9735-3512 and Hawton, Keith (2021) Suicidal behavior in individuals accused or convicted of child sex abuse or indecent image offenses: systematic review of prevalence and risk factors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 51 (4) . pp. 715-728. ISSN 0363-0234 [Article] (doi:10.1111/sltb.12749)

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Abstract

Objective
An emerging body of research indicates that child sex abuse (CSA) offenders are at high risk of suicide when their offenses come to light and that those accused of accessing indecent images of children (IIOC) are at particular risk.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review and narrative synthesis on suicide rates and risk factors in this population of offenders. A keyword search of bibliographic databases (PsycINFO, Ovid, MEDLINE, Embase, PILOTS, SCIE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials [CENTRAL] and CINAHL) was conducted.
Results
Eighteen articles were included in the review, with eleven studies meeting criteria for quality assessment. The risk of suicide in perpetrators of CSA and IIOC might be over 100 times that of the general population, although estimates vary widely between studies. Several complex, interlinking factors were identified as associated with risk, including shame, unique demographic characteristics of the offenders, absence of prior criminal contact, and the impact of a criminal investigation.
Conclusions
The review identified factors that may have practical, clinical, and operational implications in the prevention of suicide in CSA and IIOC perpetrators. Exploring the impact of the investigation itself on suicide risk, including potential operational strategies and clinical input to reduce risk, should be a priority.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental health
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 32935
Notes on copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Suicide and Life‐Threatening Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Association of Suicidology
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 10:23
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:40
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/32935

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