More frequent negative social exchanges are associated with higher suicide ideation and risk in men service members/veterans

Rebecca K. Blais, Rick A. Cruz, Sarfaraz Serang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Suicide is a leading cause of death in military service members/veterans (SM/Vs). Positive social exchanges (e.g., emotional support) buffer against suicide risk but the influence of negative social exchanges (e.g., unwanted advice) is understudied. Method: The current study explored (1) the contributions of positive and negative social exchanges as simultaneous correlates of suicide ideation and risk, (2) whether positive social exchanges mitigated the association of negative social exchanges and suicide ideation and risk, and (3) if facets of social exchanges were uniquely related to suicide ideation and risk. SM/Vs men (N = 508) completed self-report questionnaires. Results: Roughly 27% endorsed suicide ideation. Between 23.62 and 41.14% reported elevated suicide risk. Adjusted analyses revealed higher negative social exchanges, particularly insensitive behaviors, and lower positive social exchanges were associated with higher suicide ideation and risk. The magnitude of positive and negative social exchanges with suicide ideation or risk was statistically similar. Higher positive social exchanges did not attenuate the association of negative social exchanges and suicide ideation or risk (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Higher negative social exchanges are equally strong correlates of suicide ideation and risk as positive social exchanges. Decreasing insensitive behaviors may reduce suicide ideation and risk in men SM/Vs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-766
Number of pages12
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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