Year: 2018 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2018). 22(3): 405-419. SIEC No: 20180506

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among emerging adults ages 18 to 25. Aims: To examine gender differences on the mediation effect of psychological distress between alcohol abuse or dependence (AAD) and suicidal behaviors (ideation, plan, and attempt). Method: The current study used the 2014 NSDUH public use data. Young adults aged 18 to 25 years (M = 21.02) old were selected as study participants. The three outcome variables were suicide ideation, plan, and attempt. AAD was an independent variable. As a mediation variable, psychological distress was used to test the research questions. The mediation effect was tested by using bootstrapping methods with the SPSS version of the macro (PROCESS version 2.16) developed by Preacher and Hayes. Results: Six separate mediation analyses (three for a male and three for a female group) were conducted for different types of suicidal behaviors including ideation, plan, and attempt. Overall, psychological distress mediated the association between AAD and suicidal behaviors, except the relationship between AAD and suicide attempts among the male young adults group. Conclusions: The findings of the current study provide specific directions for practitioners to reduce suicide rates among young adults who are at risk for suicidal behavior.