The Interrelationships of Child Maltreatment, Alcohol Use, and Suicidal Ideation Among Youth Living in the Slums of Kampala, Uganda
Youth living in the slums of Kampala face many adversities, such as dire environmental conditions, poverty, and lack of government infrastructure.
The purpose of this study is to examine the interplay of alcohol use and child maltreatment on suicidal ideation among youth living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.
Participants and Setting
The study sample includes service-seeking youth who were attending Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) drop-in centers in spring 2014 (n = 1134).
Indicators of child maltreatment included parental physical abuse, parental neglect, and sexual abuse. Problematic alcohol use was specified using a hybrid structural equation mixture model that distinguished current alcohol use status with the frequency and intensity of use among current alcohol users. This novel approach is more flexible than restricting our analysis to only alcohol users or analyzing only current alcohol use status. The primary outcome of interest was suicidal ideation. All associations controlled for gender and age, and all associations were estimated simultaneously. All analyses were conducted in SAS 9.4 and Mplus 7.4.
The overall prevalence of suicidal ideation was 23.5 % (n = 266). Overall, current alcohol use status (OR: 1.80; 95 % CI: 1.31, 2.46), the child maltreatment sum score (OR: 1.88; 95 % CI: 1.48, 2.39), and sexual abuse (OR: 2.88; 95 % CI: 1.52, 5.47) were statistically significantly associated with reporting suicidal ideation.
This study highlights a population that would potentially benefit from prevention efforts not only aimed at suicide prevention but also harm reduction in terms of alcohol use and experiences of child maltreatment.