Category: PTSD

Symposium

Sex, Posttraumatic Cognitions, and Suicidal Behavior in Veterans

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Suicide | Gender
Presentation Type: Symposium

 Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops and is maintained in part by damaging ‘posttraumatic cognitions’ about oneself, others, and the world. Significantly, such cognitions, specifically those concerning guilt and negative self-appraisal, are also associated with increased risk for suicidal behavior.  The present study examined the relationships between Veterans’ (N = 1002) posttraumatic cognitions and experience of suicidal ideation (SI), and whether those relationships vary as a function of sex. Negative thoughts about the self and the world were positively correlated with reported SI and PTSD symptom severity in both male and female Veterans (r’s .46-.21) while self-blame was only associated with SI in male Veterans (r = .27). MANCOVA analyses performed within each gender group to examine variability in posttraumatic cognitions among those with and without SI yielded significant omnibus tests (p’s = .001). In male Veterans, negative cognitions about the self (d=.84), the world (d=.67), and self- blame (d=.58) were all significantly higher in those with SI even when PTSD status and trauma type controlled for. In female veterans, however, only negative cognitions about the self (d = .70) were significantly higher in those with SI. The role of negative cognitions about the self in suicidal behavior across sex in trauma exposed Veterans warrants additional exploration.

Kelly Zuromski

Predoctoral Intern
MUSC

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Sex, Posttraumatic Cognitions, and Suicidal Behavior in Veterans



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