Financial hardship and risk of suicide among U.S. Army personnel.

Financial stress has been frequently identified as a risk factor for suicidal behavior, both in military and civilian groups. However, it remains unclear to what degree financial stress may be associated independently with suicide behavior when accounting for other risk factors. This study examined data on suicide and suicide attempt cases in the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report compared with service members who did not have recent suicide behavior. The resulting multinomial regression analysis found that financial distress had a weak association with suicide, and its relationship to suicide attempts was not statistically significant. Compared with financial distress, relationship problems and substance abuse history appeared to have much stronger associations with suicidal behavior, as did having a diagnosis of a mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder. The major conclusion from these data are that although financial distress may be a risk factor for suicidal behavior, the relationship is likely indirect and considerably less substantial than previously suspected. In addition, its relative influence is significantly less than other identified risk factors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)