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Perspectives of Survivors on Military Suicide Decedents' Life Stressors and Male Gender Role Stress using the Male Gender Role Stressor Inventory (MGRSI)

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Background Male gender remains an important risk factor for suicide in the United States military such that military males are six times more likely to die by suicide compared with military females DoD, 2011 Hyman, Ireland, Frost, and Cottrell, 2012. Military men who die by suicide face a number of life stressors and unique service-related challenges, many of which can be associated with ones gender and rigid beliefs about masculinity. To date, no research on male gender role stressors in the context of military suicide has been conducted. Survivors of military suicide can uniquely contribute to the scientific understanding of the association between observed male gender role stressors and other life stressors shortly prior to death. Purpose This study aimed 1 to develop and evaluate an instrument for the measurement of male gender role stress in military personnel and 2 to determine the association between male gender role stress and other life stressors at one-month and one-year prior to suicide, based on self-report information collected from military suicide survivors. Male gender role stress was expected to positively correlate with relational, financial, legal, trauma, and global life stressors prior to suicide. Method A total of 68 surviving family members andor friends of male military suicide decedents completed a series of anonymous questionnaires that evaluated their perspective and observations of the service member at one-month and one-year prior to death. The Male Gender Role Stressor Inventory MGRSI was developed and pilot tested as an instrument to measure stressors specifically associated with male gender.

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