Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Brian A. Moore

Additional Faculty

Tyler L. Collette, tcollet1@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a commonly diagnosed condition among student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs). Many SSM/Vs who report PTSD symptoms also report suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempts. Consequently, it is important to understand which factors may buffer or contribute to the risk for suicide among SSM/Vs with PTSD to inform appropriate interventions and future research.

Methods: A sample of student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs) from five southern universities (N = 377) completed self-report measures of PTSD symptoms (i.e., PCL-5), suicidality (i.e., DSI-SS), dysfunction, and recovery (i.e., DRDI). We conducted two moderation analyses to examine interactions between PTSD and DRDI subscales in relation to suicidality. All analyses were performed using the PROCESS v4.0 macro for SPSS v28. Of particular interest, we sought to explore how dysfunction and recovery would moderate the relationship between PTSD and suicidality.

Results: In the analysis, lower recovery and higher dysfunction was found to be associated with higher scores of PTSD symptoms and a stronger risk for suicide. The positive relationship between PTSD and suicidality was significantly moderated by both high dysfunction and low recovery mindsets.

Conclusion: These findings indicate a need to target dysfunctional thoughts in interventions aimed at treating PTSD in this population. Moreover, higher education institutions should improve access to mental health resources on campus that target dysfunctional thoughts. Future research should focus on examining how existing interventions (i.e., psychotherapies) may influence dysfunction and treatment outcomes in this population.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs), dysfunction, and recovery.

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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PTSD and Suicidality among Student Service Members and Veterans (SSM/Vs)

Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a commonly diagnosed condition among student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs). Many SSM/Vs who report PTSD symptoms also report suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempts. Consequently, it is important to understand which factors may buffer or contribute to the risk for suicide among SSM/Vs with PTSD to inform appropriate interventions and future research.

Methods: A sample of student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs) from five southern universities (N = 377) completed self-report measures of PTSD symptoms (i.e., PCL-5), suicidality (i.e., DSI-SS), dysfunction, and recovery (i.e., DRDI). We conducted two moderation analyses to examine interactions between PTSD and DRDI subscales in relation to suicidality. All analyses were performed using the PROCESS v4.0 macro for SPSS v28. Of particular interest, we sought to explore how dysfunction and recovery would moderate the relationship between PTSD and suicidality.

Results: In the analysis, lower recovery and higher dysfunction was found to be associated with higher scores of PTSD symptoms and a stronger risk for suicide. The positive relationship between PTSD and suicidality was significantly moderated by both high dysfunction and low recovery mindsets.

Conclusion: These findings indicate a need to target dysfunctional thoughts in interventions aimed at treating PTSD in this population. Moreover, higher education institutions should improve access to mental health resources on campus that target dysfunctional thoughts. Future research should focus on examining how existing interventions (i.e., psychotherapies) may influence dysfunction and treatment outcomes in this population.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs), dysfunction, and recovery.

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