Factors from Durkheim's Family Integration Related to Suicidal Ideation among Men with Histories of Child Sexual Abuse


  • The study received financial support from the John A. Hartford Foundation (Geriatric Social Work Initiative) and support during recruitment from the following organizations: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, MaleSurvivor, and 1in6.org. The authors are grateful for the generosity and courage of the men who participated in this study. The authors are also thankful for the helpful support during data analysis from Dr. Rob Baller.

Address correspondence to S. D. Easton, Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College, McGuinn Hall, Room 207, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467; E-mail: scott.easton@bc.edu


Men who were sexually abused during childhood represent a highly stigmatized, marginalized population at risk for a variety of long-term mental health problems. Using the family integration dimension of Durkheim's theory of suicide, factors associated with suicidal ideation among a purposive sample of 487 men with histories of child sexual abuse were examined. Four variables—length of cohabitation, maternal support after disclosure, parental divorce, and older age—were negatively related to suicidal ideation. The analysis provides partial support for Durkheim's model. Implications for education, clinical practice, and future research are presented.