Year: 2022 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2022), 52(3), 413-426. SIEC No: 20221153
Background Although the transition out of military service is a high-risk time for suicidal ideation (SI), a paucity of research examines the development of SI during this transition process and veteran subgroups at risk for SI as they readjust to civilian life. Methods A population-based, longitudinal post-9/11 veteran cohort reported SI frequency at 3, 9, 15, 21, and 27 months post-separation using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. We identified distinct trajectories of SI over time (i.e., classes) using latent class growth analysis and examined demographic and military service predictors of class membership overall and by gender using multinomial logistic regression. Results Four SI trajectories that were similar across genders were identified: resilient (90.1%), delayed onset (5.0%), remitting (2.7%), and chronic (2.2%). Younger age, minority race/ethnicity, medical and other (vs. honorable) separation types, and Veterans Health Administration service utilization were associated with increased odds of assignment to a higher-risk trajectory (delayed onset, remitting, and/or chronic vs. resilient), whereas continued service in the National Guard/Reserves and officer rank was associated with lower odds of assignment to a higher-risk trajectory. Conclusions Findings regarding veterans at greatest risk for SI following military separation can inform targeted assessment and early intervention efforts.