Comparing the Army's Suicide Rate to the General U.S. Population: Identifying Suitable Characteristics, Data Sources, and Analytic Approaches
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
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Over the past 15 years, the suicide rate among members of the U.S. armed forces has doubled, with the greatest increase observed among soldiers in the Army Mancha et al., 2014. This increasing rate is paralleled by a smaller increase the general U.S. population Curtin, Warner, and Hedegaard, 2016, observed across both genders, in virtually every age group, and in nearly every state. An empirical question exists What is the extent or degree to which the suicide trend in the Army is unique to the Army, relative to what is observed in the general population The Army has typically attempted to address this question by standardizing the general population to look like the military population on demographic characteristics e.g., age and gender are used most frequently Watkins et al., 2018 Reimann and Mazuchowski, 2018 and raceethnicity as well on occasion Ramchand et al., 2011. Standardization aims to make the general population look like the Army population on the characteristics being used in the procedure, thereby allowing for comparisons that are done on populations with the same characteristics and minimizing the ability of the included characteristics to explain the observed rate differences.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations