Analysis of suicide behaviors in the Navy active duty and reserve component population
Blankenship, Neeta Serena
Shepherd, Kristin M.
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We analyze the role of service-specific and mental health risk factors in active duty and reserve component Navy enlisted and officer suicide attempts and deaths from 2002 to 2011. We estimate the effect of non-demographic, service-specific, pre-screening, and mental health factors through logit regression to determine their association with the occurrence of suicide attempts and death by suicide. We further evaluate how these risk factors differ between the active duty and reserve components. Results consistently found that diagnosed mental health conditions, specifically, depression and substance use, increased the odds of Sailors in all populations attempting and/or dying by suicide. Service-specific factors showed varying levels of significance across the different populations; however, those who were demoted and entry-level paygrades (E1-E4) in the enlisted population were at higher risk for suicide attempt and death. Deployment to a combat zone was associated with lower odds of attempting and dying by suicide for all populations except enlisted reservists. There were few significant covariates of suicide attempts or death among the officer population. The identification of common risk factors will aid in identifying service-wide efforts to determine the highest risk populations and develop tailored prevention programs.
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