Given that the majority of those who die by suicide are male, masculine traits have been examined as a potential link to the development of capability for suicide. However, research has not examined if such traits influence suicidal desire (i.e., thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness). This study examined the influence of stereotypically masculine traits of stoicism, sensation seeking, physical aggression, verbal aggression, and self-reliance on all three components of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide within a sample of male and female service members.
A total of 953 service members were recruited as part of a larger study.
Sensation seeking and stoicism were positively associated with capability for suicide. With regard to suicidal desire, self-reliance and verbal aggression were positively associated with both perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Stoicism was positively associated with thwarted belongingness.
Findings suggest that different masculine traits are associated with the three components of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide in various ways. Stoicism may be an especially important masculine trait that influences a component of suicidal desire and capability for suicide.