Association Between Sexual Trauma and Suicide Risk: Exploring the Mediating Role of Complex Posttraumatic Stress and Borderline Pattern Symptoms

Dr. Odeta Gelezelyte, Prof. Evaldas Kazlauskas




Assigned to session

0.10 Mies Bouwman, 29-09-2023, 15:10 - 16:25


Complex PTSD, comorbidities, grief


The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) included a new diagnosis of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), which strengthened the debate on the overlap and differences between CPTSD and borderline personality disorder (BPD). The current study aimed to explore indirect associations between sexual abuse and suicide risk through the symptoms of CPTSD and borderline pattern (BP). In total, 103 adults (Mage = 32.64; SDage = 9.36; 83.5% female) participated in the study. In the sample, 26% of participants reported experiencing sexual abuse. The novel International Trauma Interview (Roberts et al., 2019) was used for the clinical assessment of CPTSD. Self-report measures were used for the evaluation of BP symptoms and suicide risk. A parallel mediation model was performed. We found that the symptoms of both, CPTSD and BP, mediated the association between sexual abuse and suicide risk, following adjustment for the covariates of gender, age, and whether the trauma occurred in childhood or adulthood. In total, 21% of the sample fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for CPTSD, and around 73% of participants with CPTSD reported previous suicide attempt(s). Thus, suicide risk assessment and management are crucial in treating victims of sexual abuse with CPTSD and BP symptoms.


Odeta Gelezelyte

Evaldas Kazlauskas