How Is the Suicide Ideation in the Korean Armed Forces Afected by Mental Illness, Traumatic Events, and Social Support?

Chang gyo Yoon, Jaehun Jung, Jin ha Yoon, Dawon Lee, Hankaram Jeon, Seung Yup Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the military as in the general population. To mitigate such a serious public health problem, identifying the risk or protective factors of suicide behaviors is crucial. Methods: We analyzed the representative data of the 2014 Korean Armed Forces to explore the relationship between past year adverse events (PAE), accumulated lifetime trauma (ALT), mental illness vulnerability, perceived social support, and suicidal ideation in the previous year. Results: Among the 6,377 subjects, 3.7% of males and 6.2% of females reported suicidal ideation in the previous year. Multivariate analytic models identifed signifcant associations of PAE and ALT with suicidal ideation with a dose-response pattern. The mental illness vulnerability showed the most signifcant association with suicidal ideation even afer controlling PAE or ALT. We found that perceived social support may be potentially linked with a reduced risk of suicidal ideation. Conclusion: This Korean military representative data demonstrates mental illness vulnerability; PAE; and lifetime trauma as signifcant risk factors of suicidal ideation, while perceived social support was found as a potential protective factor. Given the importance of the prevention of suicide in the military, those risk and protective factors may be used to screen soldiers at risk of suicide and provide further support on mental health services as needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere96
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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