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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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