This article examines how family factors, such as parenthood status, may serve as a protective factor against mental health issues which plague military veterans such as anxiety and depressive disorders, which have been linked to elevated suicide risk when left untreated.
Numerous mental health disorders plague our veterans when they return from deployment including anxiety and depressive disorders, which have been linked to elevated suicide risk when left untreated. Family factors, such as parenthood status, may serve as a protective factor against these mental health issues. This study examined the role of parenthood status of male veterans (N = 234) based on age of the child in order to determine whether a child’s age (minor children v. adult children) affects the likelihood of meeting diagnosis criteria for anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation after controlling for marital status. Three hierarchical binary logistic regression models were constructed to assess the predictive influence of children 18 years old and younger, children older than 18, and no children with the results indicating that parenthood status did meaningfully enhance the prediction of suicide ideation. Complete findings, clinical implications, and future considerations are discussed.
Weisenhorn, D.A., Frey, L.M., Hans, J.D., Cerel, J. 2017. Suicide ideation, anxiety, and depression: Are children a protective factor for male Veterans? Journal of Family Social Work. 20:1, 41-51.