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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Mar;199(3):183-90. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31820c71c9.

Gender differences on documented trauma histories: inpatients admitted to a military psychiatric unit for suicide-related thoughts or behaviors.

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Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Suicide is a leading cause of death among men and women in the United States Military. Using a retrospective chart review design, the current study investigated gender differences on documented traumas for people admitted to a military inpatient psychiatric unit for suicide-related thoughts or behaviors (N = 656). Men more often had no documented lifetime traumas and women more often had 2 or more trauma types. Women had significantly more documented incidences of childhood sexual abuse, adulthood sexual assault, adulthood physical assault, and pregnancy loss. The gender gap in documented trauma types for childhood and adulthood traumas persisted even after adjusting for demographic variables, psychiatric diagnoses, and comorbid trauma types (i.e., trauma types other than the one being used as the dependent variable). Given the observed gender differences in documented traumas, professionals working with military women admitted for suicide-related thoughts or behaviors need to consider trauma in the context of treatment.

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