Associations between types of combat violence and the acquired capability for suicide

Craig J. Bryan, Kelly C. Cukrowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research suggests that combat exposure might increase risk for suicide. The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) proposes that exposure to painful and provocative experiences such as combat contribute to fearlessness about death and increased pain tolerance, which serve to enhance the individual's capability to attempt suicide. Violent and aggressive combat experiences, in particular, should demonstrate relatively stronger associations to this capability. The current study tests this proposition in a sample of deployed active duty combatants. Results indicate that all types of combat exposure independently contribute to capability for suicide. Consistent with the IPTS, when considering all types of combat simultaneously, combat characterized by violence and high levels of injury and death are associated with relatively stronger associations to this capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

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