PTSD and reasons for living: Associations with depressive symptoms and alcohol use

Daniel J. Lee, Gabrielle I. Liverant, Sara E. Lowmaster, Jaimie L. Gradus, Denise M. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with suicidal ideation and behavior, and is found to frequently co-occur with other conditions that exacerbate the risk for suicidal behavior. Despite these findings, few individuals with PTSD engage in suicidal acts, and there has been little research to examine those factors that protect against such behaviors. The current study used path analysis to examine the association among PTSD, depression, hazardous alcohol consumption, and beliefs about suicide (i.e., reasons for living) in a community sample with motor vehicle accident related-PTSD (N=50). Reasons for living were inversely associated with PTSD, depression, and alcohol use. Further, depression symptom severity accounted for the association between PTSD symptom severity and reasons for living. In contrast, hazardous alcohol consumption only demonstrated a trend for accounting for the association between PTSD and reasons for living. Our findings highlight the importance of clinicians assessing co-occurring depression symptoms and suggest the potential use of interventions that promote adaptive cognitions about suicide among people with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-555
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 30 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Reasons for living
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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