This study explores the experiences of suicidality (e.g., suicidal behavior risk and suicide ideation) of adults who were raised in military families in relation to their levels of potential protective factors of resilience, help-seeking attitudes, and perceptions of caregiver relationships. There is limited research exploring suicidality among individuals raised by military caregivers, with most of the literature focused on individuals in childhood and using national or statewide datasets. Prior to this investigation, only one study was identified that examined suicidality of adults of military families, with a focus on international military families rather than those associated with the U.S. military. This study sought to evaluate the experiences of suicidality as it relates to adults raised by parents or guardians affiliated with the U.S. military and to identify potential protective factors that can reduce suicidal outcomes. Using structural equation modeling, this study evaluated the experiences of suicidality of 439 adults who had at least one caregiver in the U.S. military in relation to their levels of resilience, help-seeking attitudes, and caregiver relationships. Findings of this study demonstrated that participants with increased indicators of suicidality (e.g., suicidal behavior risk and negative suicide ideation) demonstrated decreased help-seeking values and lowered perceptions of their relationships with both their military caregiver and second at-home caregiver. Further, secondary analyses identified that participants' demographic characteristics, such as their age and racial/ethnic identities, and their military-affiliation characteristics, especially participants' personal affiliation with the military or the military affiliation of their relationship partners significantly influenced each of the constructs of interest in the study. These findings provide critical insight to the experiences and mental health outcomes of individuals raised in military families and provides support for advocacy and mental health treatment efforts tailored to meet the needs of this unique population.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Counselor Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Jones, Jessica, "The Predictability of Children of Military Families' Levels of Resilience, Help-Seeking Attitudes, and Caregiver Relationships to Their Suicidality Scores Using Structural Equation Modeling" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 515.