Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Military Suicide Attitudes Questionnaire (MSAQ)
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
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To date, a culturally-sensitive psychological instrument has not been developed to evaluate military attitudes toward suicide. Understanding military attitudes towards suicide can inform research e.g., program evaluation studies, clinical practice, and policy on community prevention efforts. In response to the noted research gap, this dissertation aimed 1 to develop a culturally sensitive attitudinal measure on military suicide, titled, Military Suicide Attitudes Questionnaire MSAQ, and 2 to evaluate its psychometric properties, using a military sample. The study was completed in two main stages 1 measurement development and 2 measurement evaluation. First, a team of military personnel, suicidologists, and researchers assisted with item development for MSAQ. Second, a cross-sectional design was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the 35-item original MSAQ via an online questionnaire packet. An exploratory factor analysis followed by a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted the psychometric properties i.e., concurrent, discriminant, and incremental validity test retest reliability of the newly developed MSAQ measure were also examined. A total of 317 individuals met eligibility criteria i.e., active duty and18 years of age or older for the online study and completed the online survey packet. The following 4-factor model explaining 46.4 of the variance based on 32-items of MSAQ was identified 1 Individual-Based Rejection versus Acceptance 2Psychopathology 3 Unit-Based Acceptance versus Rejection 4 Immoral. The MSAQ was found to demonstrate high partial validity and reliability over time. The newly developed MSAQ is a promising measure, in need of further examination and replication, while filling a notable gap in the assessment of suicide attitudes within the U.S. military. The MSAQ is now a partially validated psychological instrument that has the potential for future use in advancing suicide prevention program.
- Military Forces and Organizations