Thwarted belongingness as an explanatory link between insomnia symptoms and suicidal ideation: Findings from three samples of military service members and veterans
Hom, M. A., Chu, C., Schneider, M. E., Lim, I. C., Hirsch, J. K., Gutierrez, P. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2017). Thwarted belongingness as an explanatory link between insomnia symptoms and suicidal ideation: Findings from three samples of military service members and veterans. Journal of Affective Disorders, 209, 114-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.032
Abstract Created by REACH:
Three studies utilizing self-reported data examined whether thwarted belongingness (i.e., the feeling that one does not belong) explained the link between insomnia and suicidal ideation. Results supported this link among three different samples of Service members and Veterans, suggesting that Service members struggling with issues of insomnia who feel like they don't belong may be at an increased risk for suicidal ideation. Therefore, efforts to reduce sleep issues and thwarted belongingness among Service members may reduce the risk of suicidal ideation.
Branch of Service:
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Very old (85 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Hom, Melanie A., Chu, Carol, Schneider, Matthew E., Lim, Ingrid C., Hirsch, Jameson K., Gutierrez, Peter M., Joiner, Thomas E.
Background Although insomnia has been identified as a robust predictor of suicidal ideation and behaviors, little is known about the mechanisms by which sleep disturbances confer risk for suicide. We investigated thwarted belongingness as an explanatory link between insomnia symptoms and suicidal ideation across three military service member and veteran samples. Methods Data were collected among United States military service members and veterans (N1=937, N2=3,386, N3=417) who completed self-report measures of insomnia symptoms, thwarted belongingness, suicidal ideation, and related psychiatric symptoms (e.g., anxiety, hopelessness). Bias-corrected bootstrap mediation analyses were utilized to examine the indirect effects of insomnia symptoms on suicidal ideation through thwarted belongingness, controlling for related psychiatric symptoms. Results Consistent with study hypotheses, thwarted belongingness significantly accounted for the relationship between insomnia and suicidal ideation across all three samples; however, insomnia symptoms did not significantly account for the relationship between thwarted belongingness and suicidal ideation, highlighting the specificity of our findings. Limitations This study utilized cross-sectional self-report data. Conclusions Insomnia may confer suicide risk for military service members and veterans, in part, through the pathway of thwarted belongingness. Additional prospective studies are warranted to further delineate this model of risk. Our results offer a potential therapeutic target for the prevention of suicide, via the promotion of belongingness, among service members and veterans experiencing insomnia symptoms.
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, MAH
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, CC
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, MES
Office of the Army Surgeon General, ICL
Department of Psychology, East Tennessee State University, JKH
Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, PMG
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, TEJ
military, veterans, insomnia, suicidal ideation, loneliness, thwarted belongingness
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