Suicide in United States Army Personnel, 1985-1986

J. M. Rothberg, J. Fagan, J. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A sixth biennium of epidemiological data on suicide in the United States Army was compiled with the same method as was used previously.1-5 The annual crude suicide rate per 100,000 soldiers-at-risk for 1985-1986 was found to be 13.8, a rise of 38% from where it stood in 1983-1984. Sex-specific, race-specific, age-specific, grade-specific, and marital status-specific rates were studied and can be compared with the same indices in the previous five biennia. The SMR of 69 was calculated for the first time for 1986. Demographic data and information on circumstances surrounding the suicidal act were also made available for comparison with previous data. The profile of a soldier more likely to be a suicide is that of a divorced, widowed, or separated white man of grade E2. In the majority of suicides, there was access to a (non-Army) firearm. Analysis of the suicided person's psychosocial situation (as reflected in the kinds of personal problems recorded in the reports and investigations of the incident and as reflected in assessments made of the victim's presuicidal ''motivational state'') showed remarkable consistency in the six time periods studied and, as stated in previous reports, points unflinchingly to a love-object dyadic relationship at total collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-456
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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