Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
Visible to MSU only for 1 year
Dissertation - Campus Access Only
Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology)
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Psychology
The suicide rate in the United States continues to rise, and rates of Veteran deaths are 1.5 times greater than those of non-Veteran adults. Previous research demonstrates that higher rates of suicide acceptability are positively related to suicide planning, suicidal ideation, and attempts. Examining rates of suicide acceptability in a Veteran and non-Veteran sample may be one pathway to understand the process by which attitudes are linked to behaviors. Study 1: Study 1 included a preliminary examination of a pre-screening measure, the Veteran Verification Questionnaire (VVQ), which aims to increase the validity of a Veteran sample online and reduce possible misrepresentation. Results indicated that the VVQ successfully differentiated between Veterans and non-Veteran students. Additionally, participants that answered 8 out of 12 possible items correctly were more likely to be Veterans (89%) whereas a score of 7 or less indicated that the participant was more likely to be a student. Study 2: Study 2 first examined whether or not veterans and non-Veterans differed significantly on suicide acceptability when accounting for age and sex. Study 2 also examined whether Veteran status predicted suicide acceptability using the Attitudes Towards Suicide Scale in the sample after accounting for age, sex, suicide risk and exposure to suicide. The results demonstrated that suicide acceptability rates varied significantly between Veterans and non-Veterans such that Veterans endorsed higher rates of suicide acceptability. The results from a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicate that suicide risk, suicide exposure, and Veteran status accounted for a total of 25% of the variance in acceptability scores. The findings also demonstrate that Veteran status only accounted for 4% of the total variance whereas suicide risk accounted for 10% and exposure to suicide behaviors accounted for 11%. Interestingly, the direction of these predictions between suicide risk and exposure to suicide with suicide attitudes were opposite of expected.
Titus, Caitlin E., "Exploring suicide acceptability in a Veteran and non-Veteran sample" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 5189.