Substance use, current criminal justice involvement, and lifetime suicidal thoughts and behaviors history: The moderating role of thwarted belonging

Sean M. Mitchell, Sarah L. Brown, Tuğba Görgülü, Kenneth R. Conner, Marc T. Swogger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Criminal justice involvement, substance use, and suicide pose significant public health concerns; however, the unique and synergistic effects of these experiences among high-risk individuals remain understudied. We hypothesized positive main effects for alcohol-related severity, drug-related severity, current criminal justice involvement, and thwarted belonging (TB) on suicide ideation history (SIH) and suicide attempt history (SAH) and that TB would moderate these associations. Method: We report on cross-sectional analyses of self-report assessments completed by 824 adult residential substance use patients. Results: Multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that as alcohol- and drug-related severity increases, the probability of SIH and SAH increases; however, TB was only associated with a higher SIH probability. Significant two-way interactions (current criminal justice involvement*TB; alcohol-related severity*TB) indicated that (1) those high in TB with current criminal justice involvement were more likely to report a SIH than those without current criminal justice involvement; and (2) those low in TB and alcohol-related severity had the lowest SAH probability, whereas those low in TB and high in alcohol-related severity had the highest SAH probability. Conclusion: The unique and combined effects of interpersonal and contextual risk factors may improve suicide risk conceptualization and assessment, and allow for tailored treatments for this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • criminal justice system
  • substance use
  • suicide attempt
  • suicide ideation
  • thwarted belonging

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