Year: 2020 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2020). 24(2), 158-185.DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2019.1612800 SIEC No: 20200898

Past research has robustly supported differences in prevalence and severity of mental health disorders between males and females in general. Less is known in regards to how suicide exposure and related factors may be associated with these mental health outcomes in men and women. This study seeks to explore similarities and differences between suicide exposure experiences of males and females in regards to number of exposures to suicide, relationships to the deceased, perceptions of closeness to the deceased, and related mental health correlates. Clinical applications are then discussed. A dual-frame, random digit dial survey was utilized to identify sex-differentiated demographic and suicide-related factors associated with these correlates in a statewide sample of 1,736 adults. t-tests revealed statistically higher depression, anxiety, and prolonged grief mean scores for suicide-exposed females; statistically higher suicide ideation levels in suicide-exposed males, and no statistical differences between sexes in PTSD scores. Logistic regression analyses provided an in-depth look at similarities and differences in risk and protective factors between male and female outcomes with perceptions of closeness and kinship levels as most salient risk factors. Cross-sectional design limits assertions of causality and retrospective nature of study may introduce recall bias. Males and females may differ in mental health impacts after suicide exposure. Implications for future research, prevention program planning, and bereavement counseling approaches are discussed.