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Journal Article


Kopacz MS, Currier JM, Dresher KD, Pigeon WR. J. Inj. Violence Res. 2015; 8(1): 6-14.


US Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Canandaigua VA Medical Center, 400 Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua, NY 14424, USA. (


(Copyright © 2015, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences)






BACKGROUND: Spiritual well-being has been lauded to exert a protective effect against sui-cidal behavior. This study examines the characteristics of spiritual functioning and their associa-tion with a self-reported history of suicidal thoughts and behavior in a sample of Veterans be-ing treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

METHODS: The sample includes 472 Vet-erans admitted to a PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Program. Measures included the Brief Mul-tidimensional Measure of Religiousness and Spirituality, PTSD Checklist - Military Version, Com-bat Experiences Scale, and individual items pertaining to history of suicidal thoughts and at-tempts, spiritual practices, and select demographics.

RESULTS: Problems with forgiveness and negative religious coping were uniquely associated with suicide risk, above and beyond age, gender, or ethnicity, combat exposure, and severity of PTSD symptomatology. Organizational religiousness was associated with decreased risk for thinking about suicide in the presence of these covariates. Daily spiritual experiences were inversely associated with suicidal thoughts. Differences in spirituality factors did not distinguish Veterans with both suicidal ideation and prior attempts from those who had ideations absent any prior attempts.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that enhanced or diminished spiritual functioning is associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts among Veterans dealing with PTSD.

Language: en


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