5 years ago

Relative Impact of Risk Factors, Thwarted Belongingness, and Perceived Burdensomeness on Suicidal Ideation in Veteran Service Members

Peter M. Gutierrez, Keith W. Jennings, David A. Jobes, Lora L. Johnson, Stephen S. O'Connor, Erin Carney
Objective We tested the associations between individualized risk factors, empirically validated constructs specific to suicide risk (i.e., thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, and two methods for conceptualizing suicidal ideation based on Suicide Index Score (SIS) and overall severity score of the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation [BSS]). Method The current study included a sample of 134 suicidal Veterans who were recruited from an inpatient psychiatry unit of a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Participants completed the BSS, Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire, Outcome Questionnaire-45.2, Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, Drug Abuse Screening Test, and abbreviated versions of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Military version (PCL-M) and Insomnia Severity Index. We used ordinary least squares regression with bootstrapping to conduct analyses due to the skewed distributions observed in the suicidal ideation outcomes. Results Thwarted belongingness was the only statistically significant correlate of the SIS, indicating a stronger desire to be dead than alive as Veterans perceived themselves as being increasingly disconnected and isolated from others (B = 0.36, standard error [SE] = 0.01, p = 0.005). In contrast, greater overall severity scores on the BSS were associated with higher ratings on the PCL-M (B = 0.21, SE = 0.07, p = 0.02) and for thwarted belongingness (B = 0.27, SE = 0.09, p = 0.04). Problematic alcohol use was significantly associated with lower overall severity scores (B = −.27, SE = 1.17, p < 0.001). Conclusion Findings may inform clinical strategies for conceptualizing and targeting factors associated with suicidal risk.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22426

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