Date of Conferral





Public Health


Donald Goodwin


Suicidal behaviors have continued to increase in the United States (U.S.) Army population since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Suicide rates are higher in men compared to women; yet, the rate of suicidal ideation is higher in women than men. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between suicidal ideation and protective factors, if social support and resiliency are different for men and women within the U.S. Army population, and if gender acts as a moderating variable between suicidal ideation and protective factors. The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior was used as the foundation for this study. Secondary data were collected from the U.S. Army Public Health Center. After removing missing responses, the total sample size for this study was N = 3,446. Chi-square, independent samples t test, and multiple logistic regressions were used to determine the relationship between gender, suicidal ideation, resiliency, and social support in the U.S. Army active duty population. The percentage who reported suicidal ideation was 3.6% versus 4.9% for males and females, respectively. Social support was statistically significantly correlated with suicidal ideation (p = 0.002) while resiliency was not statistically significantly correlated with suicidal ideation (p = 0.68). Neither scale was effective in detecting differences among gender groups. Refined instruments are needed for evaluation of small changes in regard to protective factors. To promote social change, this study can be used to enhance knowledge about protective factors and gender in the context of the suicidal process, thus furthering the knowledge about how to prevent suicide in the U.S. Army population.