Nexus of despair: A network analysis of suicidal ideation among veterans

Jeffrey S. Simons, Raluca M. Simons, Kyle J. Walters, Jessica A. Keith, Carol O’Brien, Kate Andal, Scott F. Stoltenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to estimate a network model of risk and resilience factors of suicidal ideation among veterans. Two network models of suicidal ideation among Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation New Dawn veterans (N = 276) incorporated key disorders, traumatic stress, and resilience constructs to contextualize suicidal ideation. Childhood trauma was positively connected with suicidal ideation and harassment and inversely connected with social support and distress tolerance. This exemplifies long-lasting associations between childhood trauma and re-victimization, emotion regulation, and ability to form supportive social relationships. A subsequent model including lower-order facets indicated that combat trauma was predominantly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder-intrusion symptoms. This study highlights the importance of addressing both risk and resilience to reduce suicide risk among veterans and increases understanding of factors that contribute to suicidal ideation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-336
Number of pages23
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue numbersup1
StatePublished - Feb 3 2020


  • alcohol
  • emotion regulation
  • network analysis
  • self-control
  • suicide
  • traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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