A network analysis of risk factors for suicide in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Suicidal ideation (SI) is a prevalent issue in the veteran population. A number of factors have been identified as risk factors for suicidal ideation (SI) in veterans, including suicide attempts, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug use. However, clinicians' ability to predict suicide is poor, particularly given the interplay between various factors such as previous suicide attempts. As such, there is a gap in our knowledge of which factors most saliently predict suicide risk and which should be targets for interventions designed to lower SI. Network analysis, a method allowing for an examination of how variables relate within the context of a network of factors, may bridge this gap by simultaneously evaluating the interrelationships between risk factors for suicide in veterans. Current study used network analysis and data from 2268 Iraq/Afghanistan-era military veterans to examine the relationships between suicidal ideation and several factors related to suicide risk, such as past suicide attempts, PTSD symptoms, depression, drug use, trauma exposure. Partial correlation network results showed suicidal ideation to be strongly related to depression, with smaller connections to past suicide attempts and anger. Additionally, past suicide attempts was strongly related to history of childhood trauma and weakly related to problematic drug use and PTSD symptoms. These results offer valuable information for both predicting suicide risk and differentiating targets for interventions lowering suicide risk in veterans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Graziano, RC; Aunon, FM; LoSavio, ST; Elbogen, EB; Beckham, JC; VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Workgroup, ; Dillon, KH

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 138 /

Start / End Page

  • 264 - 271

PubMed ID

  • 33872963

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8192445

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1379

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.03.065


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England