Author Date

2022-03-17

Degree Name

BA

Department

Psychology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2022-03-11

Publication Date

2022-03-17

First Faculty Advisor

Dr. David Wood

Second Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kari O'Grady

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Kari O'Grady

Second Faculty Reader

Dawn-Marie Wood

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Bruce Brown

Keywords

Military, Suicide, Suicidality, Thwarted Belongingness, Perceived Burdensomeness, Acquired Capability, INQ, ACSS

Abstract

With military populations being at a higher risk for suicide than the general public and military culture reinforcing the three variables of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide; this research set out to answer the hypothesis that military populations would score highly on assessments measuring interpersonal needs and acquired capability. In 2018 for example, active-duty military suicides resulted in the death of 28.4 soldiers for every 100,000, and for reserve they were higher at 30.6 per 100,000 (Department of Defense, 2021). This statistic can be compared to the average suicide rate of the general population within the United States in 2018, which was 14.2 per 100,000 (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). This research analyzed nine articles in which participant (n = 9,229) belonging to both active and reserve military components responded to the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ) and Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale (ACSS). The examination was conducted using a meta-analysis to combine the means of each study while accounting for individual population sizes and standard errors. Data was

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weighted and standardized before conducting the computations. It was hypothesized that the mean scores after the meta-analysis would show high scores for the following variables: perceived burdensomeness (PB), thwarted belongingness (TB), and acquired capability (AC). Since there are no control groups and only clinical groups in the literature for comparison, researchers used the measure’s Likert scales to measure whether the respondents answered above or below the middle point. This was done because higher scores correspond to higher PB, TB, and AC. The results indicated that on all three variables the total population across all nine studies scored below the middle point of the Likert scale, which, according to the IPTS, indicates low suicidality

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