Comparison of Suicide Attempters and Decedents in the U.S. Army: A Latent Class Analysis

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Abstract

A clearer understanding of risk factors for suicidal behavior among soldiers is of principal importance to military suicide prevention. It is unclear whether soldiers who attempt suicide and those who die by suicide have different patterns of risk factors. As such, preventive efforts aimed toward reducing suicide attempts and suicides, respectively, may require different strategies. We conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) to examine classes of risk factors among suicide attempters (n = 1,433) and decedents (n = 424). Both groups were represented by three classes: (1) External/Antisocial Risk Factors, (2) Mental Health Risk Factors, and (3) No Pattern. These findings support the conceptualization that military suicide attempters and decedents represent a single population.

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