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Reexperiencing symptoms and the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior among deployed service members evaluated for traumatic brain injury


  • The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of the United States Government, Department of Defense, or Department of the Army.


Recent evidence suggests that military suicide rates now exceed those of the general public. Numerous recent efforts to address this growing concern have focused on the interpersonal psychological theory of suicidal behavior (IPTS). In the current study, we explored the relationships among reexperiencing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and the three components of the IPTS in a sample of deployed military personnel examined for traumatic brain injury. Results indicated that reexperiencing symptoms were directly related to the acquired capability for suicide, but their relationships to perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness were statistically explained by general mental health distress. Results indicate that mental rehearsal of painful and provocative experiences may have an impact on suicide risk. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 67:1–10, 2011.