Distinguishing Levels of Suicide Risk in Depressed Male Veterans: The Role of Internalizing and Externalizing Psychopathology as Measured by the MMPI-2-RF

Stephanie N. Miller, Melanie L. Bozzay, Yossef S. Ben-Porath, Paul A. Arbisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Suicide occurs at high rates among veterans, underscoring a need for improved identification of veterans at risk of engaging in suicidal behavior. Considering dimensions of psychopathology in the context of an ideation-to-action framework, the present study examined the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–2–Restructured Form in distinguishing depressed, psychiatrically hospitalized male veterans (N = 430) at varying levels of suicide risk. Analysis of variance and hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that internalizing scales differentiated depressed ideators (n = 147) and depressed controls (n = 143); and in line with expectations, both broad and narrowly focused externalizing scales provided incremental validity in distinguishing depressed attempters (n = 140) from depressed ideators. Interactions between Suicidal/Death Ideation and externalizing scale scores were found to differentiate only depressed ideators from depressed controls. Clinical implications in the areas of suicide risk assessment and therapeutic interventions with suicidal veterans are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • MMPI-2-RF
  • externalizing
  • ideation-to-action framework
  • suicide risk assessment
  • veterans

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Validation Study

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