Year: 2013 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.(2012)42(4):453Ð469. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2012.00104.x SIEC No: 20130507

The mediating effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, negative mood, and social support on the relationship of war experiences to suicidality were examined. The research literature suggested a sequence among study scales representing these constructs, which was then tested on survey data obtained from a sample of National Guard soldiers (N = 4,546). Results from structural equation modeling suggested that war experiences may precipitate a sequence of psychological consequences leading to suicidality. However, suicidality may be an enduring behavioral health condition. War experiences showed no direct effects on postdeployment suicidality, rather its effect was indirect through PTSD symptoms and negative mood. War experiences were, however, predictive of PTSD symptoms, as would be expected. PSTD symptoms showed no direct effect on postdeployment suicidality, but showed indirect effects through negative mood. Results also suggested that suicidality is relatively persistent, at least during deployment and postdeployment. The percentage of those at risk for suicide was low both during and after deployment, with little association between suicidality and time since returning from deployment. Additionally, few soldiers were initially nonsuicidal and then reported such symptoms at postdeployment. Implications of relationships of both negative mood and combat trauma to suicidality are discussed, as well as possible mediating effects of both personal dispositions and social support on relationships of war experiences to PTSD, negative mood, and suicidality.