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Psychol Rep. 1998 Aug;83(1):3-11.

Pilot study of suicide risk factors among personnel in the United States Marine Corps (Pacific Forces).

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  • 1Leadership, Ethics & Law Department, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, USA.


Risk factors for suicide among active-duty members of the United States Marine Corps were investigated. Three groups were suicide attempters (n = 172), completers (n = 22), and a nonpsychiatric comparison group (n = 384). A series of multiple regression and discriminant analyses were conducted to assess whether any of 137 selected risk-factors differentiated the suicidal group from the comparison group. The following factors differentiated suicide attempters and completers from the comparison group and were associated with increased suicide risk: History of Abuse, Neglect, or Rejection, Lower Performance Evaluation, Symptoms of Depression, No History of Gambling Behavior, Younger Age, History of Alcohol Abuse, and Hopelessness. A discriminant analysis using these seven variables resulted in a 77% accuracy rate. When evaluating variables that could be obtained by a review of military records alone, three variables differentiated the attempters and completers from the comparison group, Lower Performance Evaluation, Younger Age, and a History of Military or Legal Problems. These variables correctly classified 73% of the sample. Implications for suicide-risk assessment for individuals in the Marine Corps are provided.

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