The factor structure of psychiatric comorbidity among Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans and its relationship to violence, incarceration, suicide attempts, and suicidality.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The present research examined how incarceration, suicide attempts, suicidality, and difficulty controlling violence relate to the underlying factor structure of psychiatric comorbidity among a large sample of Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans (N=1897). Diagnostic interviews established psychiatric diagnoses; self-report measures assessed history of incarceration, difficulty controlling violence, suicide attempts, and suicidality. A 3-factor measurement model characterized by latent factors for externalizing-substance-use disorders (SUD), distress, and fear provided excellent fit to the data. Alcohol-use disorder, drug-use disorder, and nicotine dependence were indicators on the externalizing-SUD factor. Posttraumatic stress disorder and depression were indicators on the distress factor. Panic disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder were indicators on the fear factor. Incarceration was exclusively predicted by the externalizing-SUD factor. Difficulty controlling violence, suicidality, and suicide attempts were exclusively predicted by the distress factor. Contrary to hypotheses, the path from the externalizing/SUD factor to difficulty controlling violence was not significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that the distress factor of psychiatric comorbidity is a significant risk factor for suicidality, suicide attempts, and difficulty controlling violence and could help to explain the frequent co-occurrence of these critical outcomes among returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kimbrel, NA; Calhoun, PS; Elbogen, EB; Brancu, M; VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Registry Workgroup, ; Beckham, JC

Published Date

  • December 15, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 220 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 397 - 403

PubMed ID

  • 25169889

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4697758

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-7123

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.064


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland