Year: 2018 Source: Psychiatry Research. (2018). 266, 90-96. SIEC No: 20180364

Past research indicates that firefighters are at increased risk for suicide. Firefighter-specific occupational stress
may contribute to elevated suicidality. Among a large sample of firefighters, this study examined if occupational
stress is associated with multiple indicators of suicide risk, and whether distress tolerance, the perceived and/or
actual ability to endure negative emotional or physical states, attenuates these associations. A total of 831
firefighters participated (mean [SD] age = 38.37y[8.53y]; 94.5% male; 75.2% White). The Sources of
Occupational Stress-14 (SOOS-14), Distress Tolerance Scale (DTS), and Suicidal Behaviors
Questionnaire—Revised (SBQ-R) were utilized to examine firefighter-specific occupational stress, distress tolerance,
and suicidality, respectively. Consistent with predictions, occupational stress interacted with distress
tolerance, such that the effects of occupational stress on suicide risk, broadly, as well as lifetime suicide threats
and current suicidal intent, specifically, were attenuated at high levels of distress tolerance. Distress tolerance
may buffer the effects of occupational stress on suicidality among firefighters. Pending replication, findings
suggest that distress tolerance may be a viable target for suicide prevention initiatives within the fire service