Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Interpersonal Violence. (2023). 38(17-18), 1-23. DOI: 10.1177/08862605231173436 SIEC No: 20231880

Intimate partner problems (IPP)-which include divorce, breakups, arguments, jealousy, conflict, discord, and violence-have been robust precipitating factors associated with an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Although research on suicide related to IPP is growing, efforts to explore the circumstances surrounding suicidality among female victims struggling with IPP remain insufficient. To address this gap, this exploratory study sought to understand the circumstances surrounding female IPP-related suicide in the United States. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS, 2003-2019) which includes 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Of the final analytical sample of 58,545 female suicide cases in the United States, we delineated IPP-included suicide cases (13,496, 23.1%) and non-IPP-included suicide cases (45,049, 76.9%). Two-sided Pearson chi-square tests and standardized difference (SD) tests identified significant differences in the surrounding circumstances between IPP-included suicide and non-IPP-included suicide. IPP-included female suicide was more common among younger women, those involved in an intimate relationship, and women who were pregnant or postpartum (p < .001; SD > .10). IPP-included suicide victims were more likely to have experienced depression, substance abuse, and previous interpersonal trauma than non-IPP-included suicide victims (p < .001; SD > .10). Compared to non-IPP-included suicide, IPP-included suicide was more likely to occur at the victim’s house or apartment during evening and nighttime by firearm or hanging (p < .001; SD > .10). Our findings also showed that IPP-included suicide victims had previous suicidal thoughts and were more likely to have disclosed their suicidal ideation with others before committing suicide than non-IPP-included suicide victims (p < .001; SD > .10). Findings identified unique circumstances and characteristics possibly associated with IPP-included female suicide. Our understanding of suicide may be enhanced by exploring the causal pathway behind these.