Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2022). 43:3, 228-235. SIEC No: 20220680
Risk-taking is associated with suicide among depressed adolescents. In the United States, alcohol is among the most used substances resulting in need for treatment. While alcohol use relates to greater depression and suicidality, less is known about these relationships with risk-taking tendencies, particularly among adult populations. The current study examined suicidal ideation, alcohol use, depression, and risk-taking tendencies among adults 18–65 years old who participated in the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the specific aims in Mplus8. A total of 1,740 (21.4%) participants endorsed suicidal ideation. The model demonstrated good fit and findings indicate increases in alcohol abuse or dependence (b = 0.094, SE = 0.01, p < .001), depression (b = 0.036, SE = 0.01, p < .001), and risk-taking (b = 0.044, SE = 0.01, p < .001) all independently related to increased odds of ideation. Increases in alcohol abuse or dependence (b = 0.210, SE = 0.02, p < .001) and depression (b = 0.026, SE = 0.01, p < .05) also related to elevated risk-taking. Based on the joint significance test, risk-taking tendencies served as a partial mediator, functioning as a mechanism in the relationships between alcohol use, depression, and ideation. Risk-taking thus serves as an important treatment target in the prevention of suicide. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.