Suicide in Police Work: Exploring Potential Contributing Influences
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- Violanti, J.M., Fekedulegn, D., Charles, L.E. et al. Am J Crim Just (2009) 34: 41. doi:10.1007/s12103-008-9049-8
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Police officers are considered at increased risk for suicide. The objective of this study was to explore potential influences on suicide ideation among 105 randomly selected men and women urban police officers. Depression, gender, and marital status appeared to be most strongly associated with police suicidal ideation. Depressive symptoms were higher among women than men officers (12.5 percent vs. 6.2 percent). For each standard deviation increase in depressive symptoms, the prevalence ratio (PR) of suicide ideation increased 73 percent in women (PR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.32–2.27) and 67 percent in men (PR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.21–2.30). The association between depression and ideation was stronger among unmarried women officers (PR = 4.43; 95% CI = 2.19 – 8.91) than married women officers (PR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.09 – 1.79). While depression has previously been associated with suicide, such results are unusual in a healthy working population such as the police.