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Younger siblings at higher risk of committing suicide: Study

Posted on May 26 2014 | IANS

London, May 26 : Are you more attached to your eldest kid? Your younger ones too need your attention and care, perhaps a bit more than what the eldest receive as researchers have found that later-borns are at a higher risk of committing suicide.

Later a person's birth order was, the higher their risk for suicide was, the findings showed.

"Our findings are important, since they highlight that birth order should be considered an early-life circumstance that determines mental health across the life course," Mikael Rostila from Stockholm University in Sweden, was quoted as saying.

For the study, researchers examined births and deaths of everyone born in Sweden between 1931 and 1980 and recorded deaths from 1981 to 2002.

For each increase in a person's birth order, from eldest to youngest child, the suicide risk in adulthood went up 18 percent, the study noted.

Bullying by older siblings, and lack of adequate attention on later-borns could play a part.

"Lower levels of attachment to parents because of restrictions in quality time could give rise to emotional and behavioural problems, separation stress and psychiatric disorders, thereby contributing to a higher suicide risk among later-born siblings," Rostila added.

The study appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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