Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Veterans Studies. (2022). 8(3), 120–127. DOI: SIEC No: 20220886
Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have an increased risk for suicide. A lack of Future-Self Continuity (FSC), which refers to the sense of “psychological connectedness” that a person has between their present and future selves, has also been associated with suicide risk. For this study, 308 U.S. military veterans, 39 of whom self-reported a TBI, completed a series of questionnaires to assess future self-continuity and suicidality. The results replicated previous findings in that TBI and low future self-continuity were individually associated with increased suicidality. Additionally, future self-continuity was found to have a moderating effect on TBI, in that TBI was associated with increased suicide risk only when future self-continuity was low or moderate. When future self-continuity was high, TBI was not associated with increased suicide risk. Examination of the three subcomponents of future self-continuity revealed that FSC-Vividness and FSC-Positivity moderated the TBI-suicidality relationship, while FSC-Similarity had no significant moderating effect. These results suggest that high future self-continuity may be a protective factor for suicide risk among veterans with a TBI diagnosis. Understanding this relationship between TBI, future self-continuity, and suicidality could help enhance suicide prevention efforts.