Violence victimization and perpetration in relation to fearlessness about death in suicidal psychiatric inpatients

Stephani Granato (Trauma & Deployment Recovery Services, Oklahoma City VAHCS, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA)
Shannon Boone (Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
Shane Kuhlman (Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
Phillip N. Smith (Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Publication date: 9 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The interpersonal theory of suicide proposes that fearlessness about death, one aspect of the capability for suicide, may explain men’s greater risk for death by suicide. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether violence perpetration and victimization would mediate the relation of gender with fearlessness about death in suicidal psychiatric inpatients.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study used a cross-sectional survey design in a sample of 196 psychiatric inpatients admitted for suicide risk.

Findings

Men endorsed greater fearlessness about death compared to women. The relation of gender with fearlessness about death was partially mediated by violence perpetration, but not victimization. Violence perpetration may play a more central role in the development of fearlessness about death, the capability for suicide, and the transition from suicide ideation to action compared to violence victimization.

Research limitations/implications

The current study was cross-sectional and not able to definitively answer questions about the development of the capability for suicide. Future research must examine how fearlessness about death evolves over time.

Practical implications

Suicide risk assessment should include history of violence perpetration, as this may better identify those who may be at greater risk for suicide due to greater fearlessness about death.

Originality/value

The current study adds to the growing literature that aims to understand variables that explain the transition from suicide ideation to action.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (YIG-0-10-286; PI: Smith) provided funding for this study.

Citation

Granato, S., Boone, S., Kuhlman, S. and Smith, P.N. (2018), "Violence victimization and perpetration in relation to fearlessness about death in suicidal psychiatric inpatients", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 202-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-07-2017-0307

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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