Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Lifetime History of Suicide Attempts among Male and Female Veterans with Mental Health Disorders.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Expanding on research that has identified nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) as a strong predictor of suicide risk, the present study examined NSSI disorder (NSSID) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) as unique contributors to lifetime suicide attempts. To our knowledge, the present study represents the first exploration of these associations among veterans. METHODS: Participants included 124 male (74%) and female (26%) veterans diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder (93%) and major depression (86%) were the most common mental health diagnoses. Large proportions of the sample met criteria for NSSID (48%) and BPD (40%). Suicide attempts were reported by 28% of the sample. Chi-square tests determined the bivariate associations among NSSID, BPD, history of suicide attempts, and other variables. Significant diagnostic (i.e., MDD, BPD, and NSSID) and demographic (i.e., age) characteristics were included as covariates in a logistic regression model examining the associations of BPD and NSSID with suicide attempts. RESULTS: BPD, Χ2=11.1, p<0.001, and NSSID, Χ2=13.9, p<0.001, were uniquely associated with suicide attempts. When all significant predictors were included in the final model, only NSSID emerged as a significant contributor to suicide attempts, OR = 4.9, p < 0.001. LIMITATIONS: Causality cannot be determined from cross-sectional analyses. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight NSSID as a powerful and unique correlate of suicide attempts among veterans, beyond the associations of established diagnostic risk factors. Improving our understanding of the relationship between NSSID and suicide risk has the potential to inform suicide prevention efforts and improve clinical outcomes among veterans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cunningham, KC; Aunon, FM; Patel, TA; Mann, AJ; DeBeer, BB; Meyer, EC; Morissette, SB; Silvia, PJ; Gratz, KL; Calhoun, PS; Beckham, JC; Kimbrel, NA

Published Date

  • May 15, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 287 /

Start / End Page

  • 276 - 281

PubMed ID

  • 33799048

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9004586

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2517

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.033


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands