Military hazing and suicidal ideation among active duty military personnel: Serial mediation effects of anger and depressive symptoms

Jae Yop Kim, Joon Beom Kim, Soo Kyung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Military hazing is one of most serious problems affecting suicidal ideation (SI) among active duty personnel, but has received limited research attention. Studies on hazing and SI indicate anger and depressive symptoms as mediators for SI. Methods: A sample of active duty military personnel (N = 944) completed an offline survey, consisting of the revised Conflict Tactics Scale-2, Composite International Diagnostic Interview Screening Scale, and revised Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Frequency, bivariate correlation, and serial mediation analyses were conducted to assess the serial effects of military hazing on SI, mediated via anger and depressive symptoms. Results: Military hazing, anger, depressive symptoms, and SI were positively related to each other in bivariate analyses. In serial mediation analyses, hazing was found to be a significant predictor of higher levels of anger, consequently triggering depressive symptoms, which, in turn, were associated with greater SI. Limitations: Study limitations included the use of cross-sectional data with the use of retrospective self-report. Conclusion: Hazing in the military is prevalent (17.6%), and SI is associated with serial effects of hazing, anger, and depressive symptoms with full mediation path. Findings suggest that policies that address reducing hazing and implementing clinical interventions specifically focused on symptoms of anger and depression may be important for decreasing SI in military personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Global Research Network program through the Ministry of Education of the R.O.K. and the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2016S1A2 A2911772 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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