Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Suicide risk high for war veterans in college, study finds

Date:
August 10, 2011
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
Nearly half of college students who are U.S. military veterans reported thinking of suicide and 20 percent said they had planned to kill themselves -- rates significantly higher than among college students in general, according to a new study.

Nearly half of college students who are U.S. military veterans reported thinking of suicide and 20 percent said they had planned to kill themselves, rates significantly higher than among college students in general, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association's 119th Annual Convention.

"These alarming numbers underscore the urgent need for universities to be adequately staffed and prepared to assist and treat student veterans," said M. David Rudd, PhD, of the University of Utah and lead author of the study entitled, "Student Veterans: A National Survey Exploring Psychological Symptoms and Suicide Risk." Rudd presented the findings during a convention symposium focusing on unique challenges of suicide prevention in the military.

Researchers with the National Center for Veterans' Studies at the University of Utah looked at survey results gathered in 2011 from 525 veterans -- 415 males and 110 females, with an average age of 26. Ninety-eight percent had been deployed in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan and 58 percent to 60 percent reported they had experienced combat. The majority were Caucasian (77 percent), with the remainder African-American (7 percent), Hispanic (12 percent), Asian-American (3 percent) and Native American (1 percent). This ethnic background distribution is similar to that of all U.S veterans, according to the paper.

The findings were startling: 46 percent of respondents indicated suicidal thinking at some point during their lifetime; 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts with a plan; 10.4 percent reported thinking of suicide very often; 7.7 percent reported a suicide attempt; and 3.8 percent reported a suicide attempt was either likely or very likely.

This is significantly higher than American College Health Association 2010 data concerning university students in general, which showed 6 percent of college students reported seriously considering suicide and 1.3 percent reported a suicide attempt, according to the study. The survey data also indicated the student veterans' suicide-related problems were comparable to or more severe than those of veterans seeking mental health services from VA medical centers.

The Student Veterans of America distributed the survey to all of its college and university chapters nationwide. The survey targeted demographic information, college experience and psychological issues, but the participation solicitation did not indicate that it focused on emotional adjustment and psychological symptoms. The SVA is a national coalition of student veterans groups in 48 states, with 384 chapters representing about 20,000 student veterans.

"As nearly 2 million veterans return home from deployments overseas, the decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will have unanticipated impact on college and university campuses, with large numbers separating from military service and making use of available higher education benefits to return to campus," the researchers wrote.

The study authors said they were unaware of any data describing the preparedness of college and university counseling centers to meet these demands. They recommended expanding training to help counselors recognize and treat combat-related trauma, making training available to all student service offices that have significant contact with students in addition to clinics and counseling centers, and providing broad-based screening for student veterans as they transition to campus, such as during orientation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Suicide risk high for war veterans in college, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804123841.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2011, August 10). Suicide risk high for war veterans in college, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804123841.htm
American Psychological Association. "Suicide risk high for war veterans in college, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804123841.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins