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Suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) are major public health concerns among adolescents, and research is needed to identify how risk is conferred over the short term (hours and days). Sleep problems may be associated with elevated risk for STBs, but less is known about this link in youth over short time periods. The current study utilized a multimodal real-time monitoring approach to examine the association between sleep problems (via daily sleep diary and actigraphy) and next-day suicidal thinking in 48 adolescents with a history of STBs during the month following discharge from acute psychiatric care. Results indicated that specific indices of sleep problems assessed via sleep diary (i.e., greater sleep onset latency, nightmares, ruminative thoughts before sleep) predicted next-day suicidal thinking. These effects were significant even when daily sadness and baseline depression were included in the models. Moreover, several associations between daily-level sleep problems and next-day suicidal thinking were moderated by person-level measures of the construct. In contrast, sleep indices assessed objectively (via actigraphy) were either not related to suicidal thinking or were related in the opposite direction from hypothesized. Together, these findings provide some support for sleep problems as a short-term risk factor for suicidal thinking in high-risk adolescents.
Researchers, clinicians and patients are increasingly using real-time monitoring methods to understand and predict suicidal thoughts and behaviours. These methods involve frequently assessing suicidal thoughts, but it is not known whether asking about suicide repeatedly is iatrogenic. We tested two questions about this approach: (a) does repeatedly assessing suicidal thinking over short periods of time increase suicidal thinking, and (b) is more frequent assessment of suicidal thinking associated with more severe suicidal thinking? In a real-time monitoring study (n = 101 participants, n = 12 793 surveys), we found no evidence to support the notion that repeated assessment of suicidal thoughts is iatrogenic.
Despite decades of suicide research, our ability to predict suicide has not changed. Why is this the case? We outline the unique challenges facing suicide research. Borrowing successful strategies from other medical fields, we propose specific research directions that aim to translate scientific findings into meaningful clinical impact.
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) prospectively predicts suicidal thoughts and behaviors in civilian populations. Despite high rates of suicide among US military members, little is known about the prevalence and course of NSSI, or how NSSI relates to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, in military personnel.
We conducted secondary analyses of two representative surveys of active-duty soldiers (N = 21 449) and newly enlisted soldiers (N = 38 507) from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS).
The lifetime prevalence of NSSI is 6.3% (1.2% 12-month prevalence) in active-duty soldiers and 7.9% (1.3% 12-month prevalence) in new soldiers. Demographic risk factors for lifetime NSSI include female sex, younger age, non-Hispanic white ethnicity, never having married, and lower educational attainment. The association of NSSI with temporally primary internalizing and externalizing disorders varies by service history (new v. active-duty soldiers) and gender (men v. women). In both active-duty and new soldiers, NSSI is associated with increased odds of subsequent onset of suicidal ideation [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.66–1.81] and suicide attempts (adjusted OR = 2.02–2.43), although not with the transition from ideation to attempt (adjusted OR = 0.92–1.36). Soldiers with a history of NSSI are more likely to have made multiple suicide attempts, compared with soldiers without NSSI.
NSSI is prevalent among US Army soldiers and is associated with significantly increased odds of later suicidal thoughts and behaviors, even after NSSI has resolved. Suicide risk assessments in military populations should screen for history of NSSI.
Previous research into religious service attendance as a protective
factor against suicide has been conducted only retrospectively, with
psychological autopsy studies using proxy informants of completed
suicide, rather than prospectively, with completed suicide as a dependent
To determine whether individuals who frequently attended religious
services were less likely to die by suicide than those who did not attend
We analysed data from a nationally representative sample
(n = 20 014), collected in the USA between 1988 and
1994, and follow-up mortality data from baseline to the end of 2006.
Cox proportional hazard regression analysis indicated that those who
frequently attended religious services were less likely to die by suicide
than those who did not attend, after accounting for the effects of other
relevant risk factors.
Frequent religious service attendance is a long-term protective factor
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