How Distress Tolerance Mediates the Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide Constructs in a U.S. Military Sample

Rachel L. Martin, Brian W. Bauer, Kathleen L. Ramsey, Bradley A. Green, Daniel W. Capron, Michael D. Anestis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Despite the general suicide rate within the military being comparable to the general population when comparing peers, there are certain branches of the military that have elevated risk. Specifically, the U.S. National Guard has suicide rates that are constantly higher than other military branches and civilian peers. The National Guard are a unique military population in which they frequently transition between military and civilian life. With these unique experiences and heightened risk, military suicide prevention efforts may benefit from further research within this population. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is another concern amongst military personnel and has been linked to suicidal behavior. Methods: The current study examined the indirect effects that distress tolerance, a protective factor against suicide, has on the relationship between PTSD and constructs within a well-validated theory for suicide (the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory for suicidal behaviors) in a sample of U.S. Army National Guard personnel. Results: Results indicated that distress tolerance had a significant indirect effect on the relationship between PTSD and thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and capability for suicide. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with previous literature examining the relationship between distress tolerance and our outcome variables. These results could have important clinical implications, mainly that intervention strategies targeting distress tolerance could have significant impacts on suicide-relate thoughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1331
Number of pages14
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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