Year: 2022 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2022), 52(1), 59-68. SIEC No: 20221186
Objective Suicide and suicide attempts among U.S. Army soldiers are a significant concern for public health. This study examined the association of parental suicide attempt prior to age 13 of the soldier with subsequent risk of pre-enlistment suicide attempt. Method We conducted secondary analyses of survey data from new soldiers who participated in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) (N = 38,396). A series of logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results Of all new soldiers, 1.4% reported that they attempted suicide between age 13 and entering the Army, and 2.3% reported a parental suicide attempt prior to age 13. Parental suicide attempt was associated with increased odds of subsequent suicide attempt; however, this association was moderated by gender and was significant only among male soldiers. The association between parental suicide attempt and pre-enlistment suicide attempt among male soldiers was still significant after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, soldier/parental psychopathology, and childhood adversities. Conclusions These results highlight parental suicide attempt as a unique pre-enlistment risk factor for suicide attempt, especially among male new soldiers. Further studies are needed to separate the genetic and environmental contributions to intra-familial risk for suicidal behavior.