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Arch Suicide Res. 2013;17(2):148-60. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2013.776456.

Marital status, life stressor precipitants, and communications of distress and suicide intent in a sample of United States Air Force suicide decedents.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA.


Life stressor precipitants and communications of distress and suicide intent were examined among a sample of United States Air Force (USAF) married versus unmarried suicide decedents. A total of 100 death investigations conducted by the Office of Special Investigations on active duty USAF suicides occurring between 1996 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Married decedents were twice as likely 1) to have documented interpersonal conflict 24 hours prior to suicide and 2) to have communicated suicide intent to peers or professionals. Themes of distress communication for all decedents were intrapersonal (perceived stress, depression, psychological pain) and interpersonal (thwarted belongingness, rejection, loneliness). Suicide prevention programs and policies are encouraged to adapt efforts to the unique needs of married and unmarried individuals.

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