Lifetime Suicide-Related Behavior, Violent Victimization, and Behavioral Health Outcomes: Results From a Vulnerable Population Needs Assessment

J Interpers Violence. 2021 Jun;36(11-12):5860-5871. doi: 10.1177/0886260518801941. Epub 2018 Sep 28.


This study is concerned with two risk factors that have been independently associated with poor behavioral health: (a) lifetime suicide-related behavior (SRB) and (b) interpersonal violence victimization experiences. The purpose of this article was to assess whether the combination of SRB (ideation, attempt) and violent victimization exacerbates behavioral health symptom risk. This pattern is examined across three vulnerable population samples: community-based adults, college students, and bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) community members. Data from a community health and sexuality survey (n = 2,175) were collected as a health needs assessment in partnership with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom; latent class analysis (LCA) was then employed to identify intersectionality. This paper builds on prior findings yielding two distinct violence-related classes: (a) SRB only and (b) violent victimization + SRB. Controlling for demographic covariates, analyses revealed a consistent pattern in which the violent victimization + SRB subgroup displayed significantly worse behavioral health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, general distress, and posttraumatic stress. Membership in any of the three available samples did not moderate the latent class-behavioral health associations, suggesting the additive impact of lifetime victimization + SRB is equitable across samples. Results are consistent with social-ecological framing of shared suicide-interpersonal violence falling under the same category of public health concerns sharing risk factors and health outcomes.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; posttraumatic stress; suicide; victimization.