Family conflict and parental monitoring are significant predictors of suicidal thoughts in children as young as 9 and 10 year olds. The majority of children surveyed in the study had caregivers who either did not know, or did not report, the suicidal thoughts of the children in their charge.
Historically, the belief has been that people don't need to ask kids about suicidal thoughts before adolescence, said Deanna Barch, professor at Washington university school of Medicine in St. Louis, US.
"Our data suggests that's absolutely not true. Kids are having these thoughts. They're not at the same rates as adults, but they are nontrivial," she added. The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, looked at 11,814 children between ages 9 and 10 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a longitudinal study in the US on adolescent brain health in which caretakers also participate.