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Study: Suicide Risk Up For Military Kids In Families With Multiple Deployments

Photo credit: USC


Teenagers in military families whose relatives have been deployed to war zones multiple times have a higher risk of suicide, according to a new study from the University of Southern California.

USC researchers looked at data from the 2011 California Healthy Kids Survey, and focused on the responses of seventh, ninth, and eleventh graders. According to the study:

Those with military connections were more likely to report depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.

Controlling for grade, gender, and race/ethnicity, reporting any familial deployment compared with no deployments was associated with increasing odds of experiencing sadness or hopelessness, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation.

Julie Cederbaum, professor at the USC School of Social Work and the study's lead author, explained to Los Angeles Times:

"There's a cumulative effect of deployment."

USC researchers say their study shows there needs to be improved screening for depression "in primary care and school settings" for military kids, especially during wartime.

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