The associations of physical and sexual assault with suicide risk in nonclinical military and undergraduate samples

Craig J. Bryan, Mary McNaugton-Cassill, Augustine Osman, Ann Marie Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

The associations of various forms of sexual and physical assault with a history of suicide attempts and recent suicide ideation were studied in two distinct samples: active duty military and undergraduate students. A total of 273 active duty Air Force personnel and 309 undergraduate students anonymously completed self-report surveys of assault victimization, emotional distress, belongingness, recent suicide ideation, and previous suicide attempts. Among military personnel, rape, robbery, or violent assault was associated with a nonsignificant trend toward increased risk for suicide attempts, whereas physical abuse or battering as an adult was significantly associated with recent suicide ideation. Among undergraduates, unwanted sexual experiences as an adult and physical or sexual abuse as a child were significantly associated with increased risk for suicide attempt, but only unwanted experiences as an adult was significantly associated with increased risk for suicide ideation. Experiencing multiple forms of assault increased risk for suicide attempts and ideation in both groups. Results suggest that different types of assault contribute differentially to suicide risk in military versus undergraduate populations, but experiencing multiple types of assault is associated with increased risk in both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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