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Suicide and Violent Cognitions, Emotions, and Behaviors in U.S. Military Personnel
Technical Report,01 Apr 2015,30 Apr 2016
Defense Personnel and Security Research Center Seaside United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Rare incidents of violence and suicide are often highly sensationalized in the media. This report describes a research effort to understand the emotions, cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors expressed on social media by Service members who died by suicide and exhibited violent cognitions, emotions, or behaviors VCEB. Using social media and online news articles, results demonstrated that Service members who showed VCEB were more hostile online, discussed more life stressors, used more substances, and were the subject of greater negative peer influence. In addition, Service members who died by suicide used a significantly more negative tone than Service members who died by other means. Finally, Service members who died by suicide and exhibited VCEB showed many of the same characteristics as those who only showed VCEB however, they also showed lower self-esteem, suggesting that this is a unique predictor of the combination of violence and suicide. Recommendations for policy are discussed, including possible areas for intervention and training with respect to social media.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE