Date of Paper

5-2017

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Lisa Kiesel

Department/School

Master of Social Work

Abstract

In an effort to understand suicide risk among female veterans, this research sought to examine any associations between suicide risk with possible risk and protective factors. The study included sixty self-identified female veterans and service members (n = 60). Participants identified primarily as Caucasian/White (76.7%) but included participants who identified as African-American/Black, Latino, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial; ages ranged from 24 to 64 (M = 37.51). All types of service and branches of service, excluding U.S. Coast Guard, were represented. This study utilized an anonymous online survey which was primarily quantitative but also included two qualitative questions to gain a better understanding of participant perceptions of mental health care and their coping strategies. Results revealed a sample population with high rates of suicidal ideation (71.7% endorsed SI) and attempts (23.3% endorsed a history of suicide attempts). No statistical significance was identified within original study questions, however, statistical significance was identified between feelings of shame or guilt in regards to military service and both sexual assault and harassment during service. This high-risk sample combined with limited statistically significant findings suggests that service providers need to increase suicide screening with female veterans and a need for additional research.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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