Suicidal behavior among military personnel is of paramount public health importance because of the increased risk of death from suicide in this population. Pre- and post-Marine recruit training risk factors for suicide attempts among current and former Marines were examined in 10 years following recruit training. The characteristics of the subsample of current and former Marines who died by suicide during this time are also described. Stressful and traumatic life events (e.g., childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, sexual harassment during recruit training) and pre-recruit training suicide attempts emerged as having strong associations with post-recruit training attempts. Half of those who died by suicide in the 10 years following recruit training endorsed at least one significant life stressor prior to joining the Marines. This study highlights the importance of screening for stressful and potentially traumatic experiences occurring both before and during military service as part of a comprehensive suicide risk assessment in military samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health