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Exploring the association between exposure to suicide and suicide risk among military service members and veterans.
J Affect Disord. 2017 Jan 01; 207:327-335.JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Past research suggests that suicide has a profound impact on surviving family members and friends; yet, little is known about experiences with suicide bereavement among military populations. This study aimed to characterize experiences with suicide exposure and their associations with lifetime and current psychiatric symptoms among military service members and veterans.

METHODS

A sample of 1753 United States military service members and veterans completed self-report questionnaires assessing experiences with suicide exposure, lifetime history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, current suicidal symptoms, and perceived likelihood of making a future suicide attempt.

RESULTS

The majority of participants (57.3%) reported knowing someone who had died by suicide, and of these individuals, most (53.1%) reported having lost a friend to suicide. Chi-square tests, one-way ANOVAs, and logistic regression analyses revealed that those who reported knowing a suicide decedent were more likely to report more severe current suicidal symptoms and a history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors compared to those who did not know a suicide decedent. Hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated that greater self-reported interpersonal closeness to a suicide decedent predicted greater self-reported likelihood of a future suicide attempt, even after controlling for current suicidal symptoms and prior suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

LIMITATIONS

This study utilized cross-sectional data, and information regarding degree of exposure to suicide was not collected.

CONCLUSIONS

Military personnel and veterans who have been bereaved by suicide may themselves be at elevated risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Additional work is needed to delineate the relationship between these experiences.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Florida State University, United States. Electronic address: hom@psy.fsu.edu.Department of Psychology, Florida State University, United States.Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, United States; Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, United States.Department of Psychology, Florida State University, United States.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27743535

Citation

Hom, Melanie A., et al. "Exploring the Association Between Exposure to Suicide and Suicide Risk Among Military Service Members and Veterans." Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 207, 2017, pp. 327-335.
Hom MA, Stanley IH, Gutierrez PM, et al. Exploring the association between exposure to suicide and suicide risk among military service members and veterans. J Affect Disord. 2017;207:327-335.
Hom, M. A., Stanley, I. H., Gutierrez, P. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2017). Exploring the association between exposure to suicide and suicide risk among military service members and veterans. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 327-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.043
Hom MA, et al. Exploring the Association Between Exposure to Suicide and Suicide Risk Among Military Service Members and Veterans. J Affect Disord. 2017 Jan 1;207:327-335. PubMed PMID: 27743535.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Exploring the association between exposure to suicide and suicide risk among military service members and veterans. AU - Hom,Melanie A, AU - Stanley,Ian H, AU - Gutierrez,Peter M, AU - Joiner,Thomas E,Jr Y1 - 2016/09/28/ PY - 2016/07/22/received PY - 2016/09/01/revised PY - 2016/09/27/accepted PY - 2016/10/16/pubmed PY - 2017/11/10/medline PY - 2016/10/16/entrez KW - Bereavement KW - Military service member KW - Suicide KW - Survivor KW - Veteran SP - 327 EP - 335 JF - Journal of affective disorders JO - J Affect Disord VL - 207 N2 - BACKGROUND: Past research suggests that suicide has a profound impact on surviving family members and friends; yet, little is known about experiences with suicide bereavement among military populations. This study aimed to characterize experiences with suicide exposure and their associations with lifetime and current psychiatric symptoms among military service members and veterans. METHODS: A sample of 1753 United States military service members and veterans completed self-report questionnaires assessing experiences with suicide exposure, lifetime history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, current suicidal symptoms, and perceived likelihood of making a future suicide attempt. RESULTS: The majority of participants (57.3%) reported knowing someone who had died by suicide, and of these individuals, most (53.1%) reported having lost a friend to suicide. Chi-square tests, one-way ANOVAs, and logistic regression analyses revealed that those who reported knowing a suicide decedent were more likely to report more severe current suicidal symptoms and a history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors compared to those who did not know a suicide decedent. Hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated that greater self-reported interpersonal closeness to a suicide decedent predicted greater self-reported likelihood of a future suicide attempt, even after controlling for current suicidal symptoms and prior suicidal thoughts and behaviors. LIMITATIONS: This study utilized cross-sectional data, and information regarding degree of exposure to suicide was not collected. CONCLUSIONS: Military personnel and veterans who have been bereaved by suicide may themselves be at elevated risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Additional work is needed to delineate the relationship between these experiences. SN - 1573-2517 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27743535/Exploring_the_association_between_exposure_to_suicide_and_suicide_risk_among_military_service_members_and_veterans_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0165-0327(16)31254-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -