Resilience as a Potential Moderator in the Relationship between PTSD Symptomology and Suicidal Ideation and Deliberate Self-Harm in Veterans

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Kovatch, Justine
Washburn University
Psychology Department
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Veterans are at higher risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideation, and suicide completion. Non-suicidal self-harm is closely related to suicidal ideation and is also a concern among Veterans. The current study is a replication and extension of Marie et al. (2019) and examines resilience as a protective factor between PTSD symptoms and suicidal ideation and self-harm among a sample of Veterans. The study is grounded in the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (Joiner, 2005; Van Orden, 2010) and the Protective Factor Model in Resilience Theory (O’Leary, 1998; Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). Veterans with PTSD symptoms who are highly resilient were hypothesized to experience little suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm. Contrary to predictions, resilience did not moderate the relationship between PTSD and suicidal ideation or the relationship between PTSD and self-harm. There were positive correlations among trauma, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. There was also a trend for resilience to be negatively associated with self-harm; resilience was significantly negatively associated with suicidal ideation.